Stephen Fife Lives

fife_2013-06-08At the end of August, in response to a slew of inquiries about why in the world the Dodgers would try out Edinson Volquez rather than give Stephen Fife another chance, I looked at how awful the previous six weeks or so had been for him, including a disastrous stint in the minors when the Dodgers tried to have him work out of the bullpen.

While Volquez has shown signs of utility as a starter with the Dodgers, Fife was recalled as a reliever and… it hasn’t been pretty. He allowed six of the 11 men he faced to reach base on September 6 in Cincinnati, then made Ricky Nolasco‘s disaster start look even worse against the Giants on Saturday by allowing five earned runs in three innings.

So is it just that he’s not a reliever? Is his shoulder barking again? Something else? We’re about to find out, because Fife gets another shot to start as he’ll be taking Clayton Kershaw‘s spot tomorrow night against the Diamondbacks. As Ken Gurnick reports, this is only about giving Kershaw some extra rest late in a long season:

The club believes Kershaw, who already has thrown a Major League-high 223 innings, needs the extra rest as a precautionary measure, especially with the chance of pitching deep into October. He has allowed two earned runs in each of his last two starts, his most recent coming Friday night against the Giants.

…and really, I’m totally fine with that. As you’d expect, the reaction from many fans is “the division isn’t clinched yet, why are we resting guys, Don Mattingly is the worst, blarp-a-bloo!!” but the problem here is really with the offense. If this team is going to make noise in October, it’s going to be because Hanley Ramirez and Yasiel Puig and Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford and friends are all healthy and productive, and whether or not they’re behind Kershaw or Fife really shouldn’t matter at all.

The division is getting clinched either way, so don’t worry about that. We’ve all seen that Kershaw hasn’t been quite himself lately, and with 223 innings already on that arm, the primary focus is making sure he’s at full strength to start Game 1 of the NLDS. As Tony Jackson notes, this also serves the purpose of lining Kershaw up nicely to make that start, too.

Kershaw will instead start on Saturday in San Diego, so after Zack Grienke tonight and Fife tomorrow, Nolasco finishes off the Arizona series on Thursday, and Volquez is likely to face off against his old team against the Padres on Friday.

792 comments
nsxtasy
nsxtasy

Starting lineup tonight includes the no-longer-injured Kemp, the no-longer-injured HanRam, and the no-longer-injured SVS.  :)

JoeyE
JoeyE

glad they pushed kershaw back. any time you get him out of coors or chase is a good thing. and the extra rest is cool. im sure greinke is next after this start. they're going to flip he and kershaw anyways

ThtsaPaddlin
ThtsaPaddlin

I thought Eaton was out indefinitely with elbow issues? Funny that the Dodgers have one lefty and the Dbacks have 6.

JoeyE
JoeyE

im trying not to complain because thats a lineup

but mellis 2nd sucks

JoeyE
JoeyE

kemp in the 2 hole would have been cool

DINGERS!
DINGERS!

You guys realize I slept through the BLARP A BLOOO thing right? A guy takes a nap and EVERYONE GOES NUTS!

Whatever. DINGERS! DINGERS! DINGERS! >:)

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

fuck i just hope Kemp doesnt lose this game for us by striking out during one of his plate appearances

nsxtasy
nsxtasy

@BLARP A PURPS Shouldn't the white dots be concentrated in the Bronx?

And there should be circles for Mark Sanchez complaints, and mayoral election complaints, and...

JoeyE
JoeyE

@ThtsaPaddlin remember when league was sucking and late in the game the dbacks had like 5 lefties come up to face league when paco was there lol

ThtsaPaddlin
ThtsaPaddlin

@BLARP A PURPS LOLed. I would have gone with a color that wasn't already in use, personally. Still, nominated for best 'Shop MSTY 2014.

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

i wish, i honestly wish you had just left it as a singular purple dot somewhere in the west of Manhattan

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

looks shopped, i can tell by the pixels.

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

did you see how he lost last nights game? fucking dick

ThtsaPaddlin
ThtsaPaddlin

@BLARP A PURPS Fact: nobody who complains about litter complains about Luis Cruz. Therefore, all Luis Cruz fans love litter.

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

and thats what Kemp did

DINGERS!
DINGERS!

Not when they have Brendan Ryan!!!

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

mostly because his wife told him to

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

he literally lost the entire game by striking out there. literally. season has gone to shit now that hes back fucking up our mojo