The Angels topped the Tigers 3-2 last night and have won 13 out of their last 16 games to improve to 75-63 on the year. While they currently sit just two games back in the Wild Card race, they will be without their ace for a little while longer.
Jered Weaver is currently shut down due to right biceps tendinitis. While it was initially thought that that the injury was due to him being hit by a line drive last Sunday, Weaver told Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times yesterday that he has felt discomfort in the shoulder dating back to a start against the Athletics on August 6.
“It’s been lingering ever since,” Weaver said. “I’ve pitched through this before. I’d do the treatment. But when it feels like it was getting better, I would have to throw 100 to 120 pitches and it sets me back again.”
Weaver has a 6.14 ERA in five starts since August 6 and has allowed seven home runs in just 29 1/3 innings, so it appears that the shoulder had an impact on his performance. An MRI this week didn’t show anything more than “normal wear and tear,” so the hope is that some rest will do the trick. He’s scheduled to throw from on the side from 75 to 90 feet today after which the next step will be decided, but he said he’s determined to return this year, even if he has to do it at less than 100 percent.
Weaver, 29, is 16-4 with a 2.86 ERA and 121/38 K/BB ratio over 25 starts this season. He ranks first in the American League with a 1.03 WHIP.
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.