Hope for a Randy Johnson loss today

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Last night’s rainout pushed Randy Johnson’s first attempt at win number
300 to this afternoon. If history is any guide, however, we shouldn’t hold our breath for history to be made today:

Crossing that bridge from 299 wins to 300 has not been easy for the
pitchers who have reached the milestone most recently. The last six –
Phil Niekro, Don Sutton, Nolan Ryan, Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux and Tom
Glavine – all needed between two and five starts to get 300. Clemens
and Ryan were hammered for eight and seven runs, respectively, in their
first tries.

Tom Seaver was the last to win 299 and 300 in consecutive starts
when, pitching for the White Sox in 1985, he won at Boston on July 30
then defeated the Yankees in New York on Aug. 4. Only four of the 11
300-game winners in the last 50 years have achieved it in one try.

I’m hoping for history to hold. Not because I hate Randy Johnson or
love the Nats or anything, but because, if he doesn’t get it tonight,
his next start looks to be either next Tuesday or Wednesday in Arizona,
where the Big Unit happens to have some history. As I mentioned in the
previous post, history matters to me, so I’d much rather see it being
made in front of a full house of people with fond memories of Randy
Johnson rather than some sparsely attended front end of a doubleheader
in D.C.

Clayton Kershaw might return to the Dodgers’ rotation next week

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Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw is nearing his return to the mound, according to club manager Dave Roberts. Both Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) and fellow lefty Rich Hill (left middle finger blister) are scheduled to toss simulated games on Saturday; depending on the outcome, Roberts says Kershaw could forgo a minor league assignment and slot back into the rotation by Thursday.

Kershaw, 30, was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis as the team closed out their Mexico Series at the start of the month. He has not made a start in several weeks, but was finally able to resume throwing on Sunday and managed to get through two successful bullpen sessions. Though Dodgers’ ace hasn’t been completely injury-free over his 11-year career in the majors, this is the first significant issue he’s had with his pitching arm so far. The team is expected to take every precaution with the lefty, and will likely limit him to just four innings during Saturday’s simulated game.

Prior to his injury, Kershaw was working on another dominant run with the club, sporting a 2.86 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.8 SO/9 through his first 44 innings of the season. While Kershaw, Hill and left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu served their respective terms on the disabled list this month, the Dodgers utilized a combination of relievers Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart, both of whom impressed during their limited time in the rotation.