Justin Upton missed two weeks with a strained left shoulder, returned to the lineup for two games earlier this week, and is now sidelined again by the same injury.
Upton is out of the Diamondbacks’ lineup this afternoon for the second straight game, but downplayed the seriousness of the injury last night:
It’s really sore. My timing was off the first night, and I was playing catch-up and it was causing me to swing a little harder. It’s just sore.
Interim manager Kirk Gibson indicated that the last-place Diamondbacks may simply decide to shut Upton down for the final three weeks of the season.
After a 2009 breakout that ranked among the best seasons by a 21-year-old hitter in baseball history Upton has taken a step backward this season, with his OPS dropping 100 points. Of course, a 22-year-old batting .274/.356/.442 with 47 extra-base hits, 64 walks, and 16 steals in 131 games is still pretty damn impressive and Upton remains one of the best young players in baseball.
Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki deposited a single to left-center field in the fourth inning of Monday night’s game against the Mets, then added a double to center field in the eighth. Those mark hits No. 3,010 and 3,011 for Suzuki in his major league career, tying and then moving past Wade Boggs for sole possession of 27th on baseball’s all-time hits list.
Suzuki would come around to score on a double by Xavier Scruggs to break a scoreless tie in the eighth.
Here’s the video of Ichiro’s first hit.
By the end of the season, Suzuki will have presumably moved ahead of Rafael Palmeiro (26th; 3,020) and Lou Brock (25th; 3,023).
Suzuki was 2-for-4 after the double. With baseball’s fifth month nearly complete, the 42-year-old is currently batting .298/.371/.373.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said that there is a possibility that starter Clayton Kershaw will be activated after throwing a simulated game on Tuesday, Alanna Rizzo of SportsNet LA reports. Kershaw threw a 60-pitch bullpen session on Friday. His activation depends on how he feels coming out of the simulated game.
Kershaw, 28, has been out since late June with mild disk herniation in his lower back. There was some consternation last month that the lefty might need back surgery, but he seems to have moved past that worry.
At the time he hit the disabled list, Kershaw was a front-runner for the National League Cy Young Award, owning an 11-2 record with a 1.79 ERA and a 145/9 K/BB ratio in 121 innings.
The Dodgers entered play Monday with a two-game lead over the Giants in the NL West. Needless to say, getting Kershaw back bolsters their odds of winning the division.