David Aardsma hasn’t thrown a pitch in the major leagues since September 19, 2010. But that could change in the next few days.
After spending the past 14 months rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, Aardsma told Erik Boland of the New York Daily News this afternoon that he expects to be activated by the Yankees tomorrow.
Aardsma posted a 2.90 ERA while saving 69 games in 78 chances for the Mariners between 2009-2010, but he began last season on the disabled list following hip surgery and eventually required Tommy John surgery in July. The 30-year-old right-hander was then non-tendered by the Mariners before signing a one-year, $500,000 contract with the Yankees in February. He was originally aiming to return around mid-season, but his timetable was pushed back a bit following a setback in June.
The Yankees are in the middle of a pennant race, so it’s highly unlikely that Aardsma will get more than a couple of appearances in lower-leverage situations, but he could show enough for the club to pick up his option for 2013.
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.