The Los Angeles Dodgers lost a heart-breaker on Sunday that dropped them a game behind St. Louis for the final National Leaue playoff spot. They also got word that ace left hander Clayton Kershaw would likely be out for the remainder of the season.
Kershaw was originally scheduled to start the series finale versus the Cardinals on Sunday, but was scratched when an MRI revealed a labrum tear in his right hip. He is scheduled to meet with Dr. Bryan Kelly on Tuesday in New York for a second opinion. If surgery is required, as is expected, Kershaw would not only miss the rest of 2012, but recovery time would likely keep him out of action until at least mid-May of 2013.
The Dodgers have re-made the bulk of the roster on the fly during the season’s second half, but they’ve been unable to gain traction since acquiring Josh Beckett and Adrian Gonzalez from the Red Sox last month. Now without their perennial Cy Young candidate, Los Angeles will have a tougher hill to climb. Kershaw joins right hander Chad Billingsley and southpaw Ted Lilly on the shelf. Becket and Joe Blanton, who was brought in from the Phillies, have gone a combined 2-6 in 12 starts for the Dodgers since joining the team, with Blanton’s ERA sitting over six runs per nine.
Rookie Stephen Fife, who started in place of Kershaw on Sunday, figures to keep that spot in the rotation. Los Angeles begins their final road trip of the season on Tuesday, a nine-gamer that takes them through Washington, Cincinnati, and San Diego. In other words, they probably needed to do better than a home split versus the Cardinals as the schedule does them no favors from here on out.