Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw is having another Cy Young-caliber season, at 9-2 with a 2.04 ERA entering Friday night's start. (Christian Petersen / Getty Images)
Detroit — Good news for the Tigers, but not necessarily for baseball fans.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw will not pitch in the two-game series at Comerica Park next week, a baseball source told The Detroit News.
While the Dodgers have not officially announced their rotation beyond this weekend’s games, it’ll mark the second time this season the Tigers will miss Kershaw, who was on the disabled list with a back injury when the teams met in Los Angeles in April.
The schedule left open a slight possibility that Kershaw — who has won two of the last three National Cy Young Awards, and appears well on his way to another one this year — would face the Tigers next week.
Kershaw started Friday night for the Dodgers against the Rockies, and four days’ rest would put him in line to start against the Tigers on Wednesday — for the last game of a brief two-game set.
But the Dodgers have an off-day Monday, and rather than skip one of their other starters, they’ll give Kershaw the extra day off. Any rest they can give their stud left-hander is extremely valuable, especially since he had the injury this year, plus he is likely to be working over the break, too. With his scoreless-inning streak now at 36 and counting, he’s the easy favorite to start the All-Star Game for the NL in Minneapolis on July 15.
Also, the Dodgers return home to face the Padres next Thursday, after the Tigers series. Obviously, they’d prefer their home fans be the ones treated to a Kershaw start.
Kershaw, 26, who is good friends with Lions quarterback and high-school classmate Matthew Stafford, is 10-2 with a 1.85 ERA on the season.
The Tigers continue to be rather fortunate this season in missing opponents’ aces. They’ve now missed Kershaw twice, Chris Sale two times as well, and Felix Hernandez, Sonny Gray, Yu Darvish, James Shields, Corey Kluber, Mark Buehrle and Dallas Keuchel one time each. That’s 11 times out of 30 Tigers series this season, counting the upcoming series against the Royals and the Dodgers.
That’s not to say, of course, there won’t be good pitching matchups in the Dodgers-Tigers series. Tuesday is likely to see Hyun-jin Ryu against Justin Verlander, and Wednesday should be Zack Greinke against Max Scherzer.