Fun with early-season stats: a reliever is tied for the league lead in wins

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Roy Face once won 18 games out of the bullpen. John Hiller once won 17 games as a reliever, and that was a couple of years after having a heart attack. But that was a different game. Relievers pitched longer and it was somewhat easier to win games out of the bullpen. Someone should tell that to Jean Machi of the San Francisco Giants. Check him out on the wins leaderboard:

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If this holds up he’ll be 25-0 with 86 innings pitched in 86 appearances. I feel like that would win him some awards or something.

Flukey, of course. A function of both him doing his job and the Giants scoring runs at the right time. But still kind of fun.

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.