Manager Joe Torre didn't say that the change meant he had given up on the season, or that he hadn't. Protecting Kershaw's 22-year-old arm was part of the decision.
"It's a double-edge sword," Torre said. "Kershaw will pitch against the Giants. That's a team in better shape than we are. It's just the fair thing to do.
"He'll have the same number of starts [four]. We'll stick Ely in there [Saturday]. This way, Kershaw will have one start with regular rest [and extra rest for the other three]."
Kershaw is 11-10 with a 2.99 ERA. Kershaw is second in the National League with 197 strikeouts, tied for second with 29 games started, tied for fifth with a .220 opponents' batting average and in the top 10 for day and road ERA.
After a tough-luck loss Tuesday night, Kershaw said throwing 200 innings is a personal goal.