The Dodgers have been without Clayton Kershaw since late June but somehow managed to make up a ton of ground in the NL West and enter play tonight with a one-game lead over the Giants. OK, the “somehow” has a lot to do with the Giants sucking eggs since the break, but the standings are the standings. The key part here is that (a) even if they’ve done OK without him, having Clayton Kershaw back at some point would be really nice for the Dodgers; and (b) the Giants may, at any time, cease sucking eggs. As such, this is a good news for L.A.: Kershaw said that when he is cleared to pitch in games — and that has yet to happen — that he’ll expect a rehab start.
UB Baseball will be a pitcher shorter than expected next season. Junior Blair Lakso has signed a deal with the Minnesota Twins franchise and is likely headed to the franchise's Rookie League affiliate, the Elizabethton Twins. Lakso averaged just under a strikeout per inning with the Bulls over the last two seasons after transferring in from Erie Community College, but took a big step forward this summer playing for the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters, the South Division leaders in the Northwoods League in each half of this season and eventual league champions over the Eau Claire Express. In Wisconsin, Lakso appeared in 32 innings over 24 games, improving his strikeout rate to 11.25/9, dropping his ERA
As we head into the final quarter, let's take stock of a season that in many ways has gone as expected: The National League is largely split into the haves and the have-nots, the AL East race is tightly fought among multiple teams, and the AL wild card has many contenders. Which teams have been the biggest surprises and disappointments? One way to look at this is to compare each team's current record with its preseason projected record. I took each team's win-loss mark entering Sunday, projected that over 162 games and compared that win total with the average preseason projection from ZiPS, FanGraphs and Baseball Prospectus. Five biggest overachievers: Texas Rangers: 14 Baltimore Orioles: 11