Stat of the day: facing the Bombers

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61 pitchers have started at least five games versus the Yankees since the beginning of 2007.  Here are the best and worst of the results, ranked by ERA:

Best
1. A.J. Burnett: 4-1, 1.35 ERA (seven starts)
2. Felix Hernandez: 6-1, 2.04 ERA (eight starts)
3. Cliff Lee: 4-1, 2.55 ERA (six starts)
4. Brian Matusz: 2-3, 2.56 ERA (five starts)
5. Roy Halladay: 9-3, 2.85 ERA (15 starts)
6. Jon Lester: 8-2, 3.06 ERA (14 starts)
7. Jarrod Washburn: 1-3, 3.06 ERA (five starts)
8. Jeff Niemann: 3-0, 3.10 ERA (five starts)
9. Francisco Liriano: 1-3, 3.22 ERA (six starts)
10. Scott Kazmir: 6-3, 3.36 ERA (12 starts)

Worst
1. Brian Bannister: 1-3, 13.26 ERA (five starts)
2. Trevor Cahill: 0-4, 10.95 ERA (five starts)
3. Brad Bergesen: 0-4, 9.25 ERA (five starts)
4. Marc Rzepczynski: 1-2, 8.86 ERA (five starts)
5. Derek Holland: 0-4, 8.78 ERA (five starts)
6. Chris Tillman: 1-3, 8.71 ERA (five starts)
7. Jason Vargas: 0-3, 8.14 ERA (five starts)
8. Fausto Carmona: 1-5, 7.52 ERA (eight starts)
9. Jose Contreras: 0-5, 7.52 ERA (five starts)
10. Paul Byrd: 2-3, 7.36 ERA (five starts)
11. Tim Wakefield: 3-4, 7.27 ERA (10 starts)
12. Gio Gonzalez: 1-4, 7.27 ERA (five starts)
13. John Danks: 2-3, 7.11 ERA (six starts)

Josh Beckett, the winningest pitcher against the Yankees with an 11-5 record the last five years, doesn’t make either list with his 4.78 ERA in 22 starts.

Honorable mention goes to Oliver Perez, who was 4-0 with a 1.52 ERA in his four starts against the Yankees.

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.