Pitching porn tonight: Lincecum vs. Kershaw

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I’m probably going to be a bit drowsy tomorrow, because there’s a great pitching matchup tonight in Los Angeles: Tim Lincecum vs. Clayton Kershaw. When you’re a junkie like me you just can’t miss that kind of thing.

Lots of interesting stuff swirling around this one. The last start from each of these aces for one thing. Each had seven days rest, but Lincecum is the only one who looked it: he shut out the Mets in his best performance of the year. In contrast, Kershaw got slammed around by the Cardinals.  Another, and certainly more important angle to all of this is whether Kershaw can put his stopper pants on and arrest the Dodgers’ current slide which has them down to fourth place in the four-team race for the NL West crown.

Of course, every time I preview some great pitching matchup like this one guy ends up getting shelled and the other guy throws 104 pitches in five innings and the next hour and a half consists of increasingly anonymous relief pitchers.

But a boy can dream, can’t he?

Brandon Morrow shut down for the rest of the season

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Cubs closer Brandon Morrow has been out since the All-Star break with a bone bruise and biceps inflammation. In recent days there had been hope that he would be activated in the season’s final two weeks in order to be ready for the playoffs, but that’s not happening: Theo Epstein just said that Morrow is done for the season.

It’s not the first time good expectations for Morrow’s recovery were not met. When he was placed on the DL back in July manager Joe Maddon said he didn’t anticipate Morrow being on the DL for much more than the minimum 10 days. Two months later and here we are.

Morrow, 34, had an excellent season until the arm trouble started, saving 22 games with a 1.47 ERA and a 31/9 K/BB ratio in 30.2 innings. Once he went out the closer’s duties fell to Pedro Strop. Now Strop too is out for at least the rest of the regular season and likely more due to a hamstring strain he suffered last week while running the bases.

Bullpens become a lot more important in the postseason. The Cubs’ bullpen is becoming thinner.