It’s silly to put much stock in pitcher wins, but it’s still noteworthy when someone gets there.
Jered Weaver became the first American League pitcher to reach 20 victories this season with a 7-4 win over the Rangers last night. Most importantly, it helped the Angels keep pace with the Athletics and Orioles, who also won last night. The Angels sit two games behind the Athletics for the second Wild Card spot and three games behind the Orioles with five left to play.
Weaver allowed two runs over seven innings while striking out five and walking a pair. He has won four straight starts and now holds a 2.73 ERA and 141/43 K/BB ratio over 187 2/3 innings in 29 starts this season. Probably not enough to top David Price or Justin Verlander for the American League Cy Young Award, but still pretty fantastic.
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.