The Blue Jays had yet another starter get hurt last night, with Henderson Alvarez leaving the game against Boston due to a sore elbow. He’s expected to avoid the DL, but the Jays already have three of his rotationmates there: Brandon Morrow (oblique), Kyle Drabek (elbow) and Drew Hutchinson (elbow).
Now comes word today that Nestor Molina, the top prospect the Jays parted with to get Sergio Santos (also injured) from the White Sox over the winter, has been placed on the DL at Double-A Birmingham with an elbow injury. His status is uncertain, but it wouldn’t surprise anyone if he misses a big chunk of the season.
FOXSports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi recently wrote a glowing article on the Blue Jays’ young arms, taking shots at Oakland’s 2002 “Moneyball draft” in the process. The Jays now employ more area scouts than any team in the league, and it might well be helping them identify talent other clubs have missed.
But the Jays have a great deal of their future tied up in young arms, which certainly creates the potential for heartbreak. They should know: they currently have six pitchers on the 60-day DL, and depending on how Alvarez’s elbow reacts this weekend, their next move might be to replace their 22-year-old right-hander with 49-year-old Jamie Moyer.
The Dodgers are NL West champions for the fifth time in a row. They clinched with a 4-2 win over the Giants on Friday night, taking their first and only lead on a mammoth record-breaking home run from Cody Bellinger in the third inning.
Rich Hill turned in another quality start, going six innings with five hits, a run and nine strikeouts to keep the Giants at bay. He tacked on an RBI hit of his own, too, lashing a double to left field for his first extra-base hit since 2007.
The Giants, meanwhile, deployed Jeff Samardzija and his 4.42 ERA for 4 1/3 innings. Samardzija was on the hook for the Dodgers’ four-run spread in the third and took his 15th loss of the season. Pablo Sandoval came through with a solo home run in the ninth, but the rest of San Francisco’s offense wasn’t so lucky against Kenley Jansen, who struck out the side to clinch the game — and the division.
After Friday’s showstopper, the Dodgers are just two wins away from their first 100-win season since 1974. If they win the remaining eight games of the season, they’ll beat out the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers for the most wins in franchise history.
Cody Bellinger helped the Dodgers to their first lead on Friday night, going deep for his 39th home run of the season and setting a new National League rookie home run record in the process. With two on and two out in the third inning, the Dodgers’ slugger launched a 2-1 pitch from the Giants’ Jeff Samardzija, skimming the right field fence to give the team a three-run cushion:
The three-run bomb was Bellinger’s sixth of the season. In what is undoubtedly a Rookie of the Year award-worthy campaign, he’s logged 21 solo shots, 11 two-run blasts and a single grand slam. His historic home run topped former NL rookie leaders Frank Robinson and Wally Berger, at 38 homers apiece.
The Dodgers need to stay on top of the Giants to clinch the NL West or, barring that, have the Marlins pull off a win over the Diamondbacks. They currently lead the Giants 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Marlins, meanwhile, are staying just ahead of the D-backs with a 9-7 lead in the top of the sixth.