The Los Angeles Dodgers enter Wednesday (GMT+8) having won 10 of their last 11 games, meaning they are really, really good.
In fact, at 79-32, the Dodgers are on pace for 115 wins, which would be the second best record in the history of the majors and best since the Seattle Mariners won 116 matches in 2001.
The MLB leaders also set a record of winning 44 games in a 50-match stretch, and are in the top 5 of most categories.
But they are bound to get even better as ace Clayton Kershaw is bound to return after a stint in the disabled list.
“I feel healthy,” said Kershaw, who was placed in the DL for the second time this season after complaining about strained lower back. “Now it’s just a matter of building back up at a good pace.”
The 29-year-old lefty threw short and long passes, and pitched to a catcher on flat ground. He felt good enough to throw fastballs and breaking balls but is yet to make a rehab game in the minors.
Despite the positive return, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts would not hasten the ace’s return especially with Kershaw’s history of back injuries.
“He’s close. I think it just makes sense for us to be cautious,” said Roberts. “We don’t want to put ourselves in a situation where there’s a setback. The calendar is on our side. I know Clayton resists that. But for us, as an organization, I think it’s best to err on the side of caution.”
Kershaw, who missed 2 ½ months with a herniated disc last year, understands his boss’s apprehension.
“Obviously, understanding where we’re at, timeline and stuff, but at the same time trying to build back,” said Kershaw, who has won three Cy Young awards.
“I definitely knew it wasn’t as bad as last year,” added Kershaw of his current condition. “When the MRI came back as good as it did, I wasn’t worried. All those things considered, I guess I wasn’t surprised it went away quicker.”
Kershaw is 15-2 in 21 starts this season, with a 2.04 earned run average and striking out 168 batters in just 141.1 innings.