One night after dueling for almost 4 1/2 hours, the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants put their heated rivalry aside and agreed to make a joint statement off the field, calling off Wednesday’s scheduled game in the wake of Jacob Blake’s shooting in Wisconsin.
Major League Baseball rescheduled the contest as part of a doubleheader on Thursday, beginning at 1:05 p.m. in San Francisco.
The Dodgers had originally scheduled right-hander Walker Buehler and lefty Clayton Kershaw for the pair of seven-inning games, however Buehler landed on the 10-day injured list Thursday morning with a blister on his throwing hand. Kershaw started the first game, but Los Angeles did not immediately name a replacement to start the second.
The Giants will counter with right-handers Logan Webb and Kevin Gausman.
The National League West combatants, who have split eight head-to-head contests this season, shared a succinct statement that read: “Throughout our country’s history, sport has been a powerful vehicle towards change. The Dodgers and Giants proudly join our players in the shared goal for a more equitable and just society.”
Kershaw was among the Dodgers who offered personal insights into Wednesday’s decision.
“As a white player on this team, it’s how can we show support,” Kershaw said. “What’s something tangible that we can do to help our Black brothers on this team? Once Mookie (Betts) said that he wasn’t going to play, that really started our conversation as a team of what we can do to support that. We felt the best thing to do was to support that in not playing.”
The decision not to play Wednesday came after some players had already taken the Oracle Park field to warm up. Gausman was preparing to make the night’s first pitch.
“Obviously the Jacob Blake-Wisconsin incident was horrific,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said leading up to the postponement. “We have the opportunity on a day like today to talk about it, and even at the expense of baseball, which is really a powerful thing. We’re going to continue to have that opportunity when more things pop up and at that point, we’ll have decisions to make about how we want to handle it.”
When Kershaw (3-1, 2.25) takes the mound, he will have a chance to record a 24th career victory over the Giants. Only one active pitcher — Felix Hernandez with 26 against the Oakland Athletics — has more victories against a single opponent.
No visitor has more than Kershaw’s 13 wins at San Francisco’s Oracle Park. He’s gone 13-5 there with a 1.57 ERA in 25 games, including 23 starts.
The 13 wins are his most at any visiting ballpark.
Kershaw is 23-13 with a 1.82 ERA in 50 games (48 starts) lifetime against the Giants.
Webb (2-2, 3.29), meanwhile, has never beaten the Dodgers, compiling an 0-1 mark with a 2.70 ERA in two career starts. He pitched the first four innings of a 5-4 win at Los Angeles in July, allowing one run.
–Field Level Media