Javy Vazquez, shutting the Tigers out through four

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UPDATE: You’re welcome, Tigers fans, for my little jinxing of Vazquez. It’s now 2-0 Tigers. Please leave the cash in an unmarked bag outside of the Bread Basket Deli at the corner of 10 1/2 Mile Road and Greenfield in Oak Park. I’ll be inside gettin’ my corned beef on.

2:25 P.M.:  Lowe has now given up a hit. Vazquez’s shutout is intact through five, however.

2:17 P.M.: The Yankees and Tigers are just starting the bottom of the fifth in Detroit, and so far Javy Vazquez is pitching one-hit shutout baseball on 47 pitches.  Just so you know.

Query: if Javy pitches well for the rest of the day do the people out for his blood give him his due, or do they chalk it up as a fluke due to the cold and the doubleheader and the ocean currents and stuff?

In other troubled-pitchers-in-day-game baseball news, Derek Lowe has a no-hitter going through four in the Braves-Brewers tilt. Yeah, I suppose I’ll give him his due if he pulls it off, but I’m going to have to really be talked out of the ocean currents thing with him. 

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.