So, yeah, it’s probably still a thousand-to-one shot, but in his rematch with the Twins tonight, Jered Weaver would seem to be better set up for back-to-back no-hitters than any pitcher in memory.
Here’s how tonight’s Twins lineup has hit right-handers this season:
CF Denard Span – .321
SS Brian Dozier – MLB debut (.316 in Triple-A)
C Joe Mauer – .214
DH Ryan Doumit – .269
3B Danny Valencia – .210
1B Chris Parmelee – .189
LF Trevor Plouffe – .056 (1-for-18)
RF Erik Komatsu – .125 (3-for-24)
2B Jamey Carroll – .186
That’s certainly a no-hittable lineup. Josh Willingham, who is hitting .300 against righties, isn’t playing, which can’t hurt Weaver’s chances.
For what it’s worth, the players above are a combined 18-for-91 against Weaver, good for a .198 average. Mauer, with a .280 average, and Valencia, who has two homers and a single in 12 at-bats, have hit him best.
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.