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Clayton Kershaw to start Friday

The Dodgers’ ace has been sidelined with a herniated disk in his lower back.

Washington Nationals v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The Dodgers will get their ace back in time for the postseason push as Clayton Kershaw is set to rejoin the rotation this Friday against the Marlins. Kershaw has been sidelined since June 26 with a herniated disk in his lower back.

To their credit, the Dodgers win-loss record hasn’t reflected the loss of their best player. Since that time, the Dodgers have gone 35-24 and lead the NL West by three games over the Giants.

Mike DiGiovanni reported the lesson Kershaw had learned from a two month stay on the disabled list:

“I’ll never get hurt again. It’s awful.”

With 26 games remaining in their season, the Dodgers undoubtedly set their sights on a fourth consecutive division title. Furthermore—despite holding their ground more than admirably in his absence—the Dodgers with Kershaw are a much more dangerous postseason roster.

Prior to his injury, Kershaw looked to be putting yet another Cy Young-worthy season up. In 121 innings, the left-hander had allowed just 24 earned runs on 79 hits and nine walks while striking out 145. That’s a strikeout-to-walk ratio higher of more than 16. That’s the highest ratio of any pitcher ever with at least 120 innings pitched, eclipsing Phil Hughes’ 2014 season by nearly four and a half strikeouts per walk.

It’s unclear whether Kershaw’s work will be limited down the stretch just to help him get back up to speed. However, after his work with Class-A Ranco Cucamonga, Kershaw not only felt okay during, but also added that he “felt pretty solid” the day after which had been a problem earlier in the rehabilitation process.