It’s fairly irritating when retired baseball players give the whole “Back in my day, things were different” spiel (I’m look at YOU, Tom Seaver). But when someone plays that card and says something totally asinine and illogical, the only medicine is to turn off the TV.
This is Dave Winfield a few minutes ago on Baseball Tonight, giving his take in a discussion about whether baseball needs better helmets to protect batters:
“Well I came from a different era, so to speak. Essentially, we didn’t wear the flaps, I didn’t like them. I grew up, uh, you knew how to move away from the ball, from the plate. And there was a different law in baseball, essentially, where, um, when it came down to it, they would throw at batters, and you just had to learn how to come back. Are you man enough …” (Gets cut off by a befuddled Karl Ravetch)
You hear that, David Wright? If only you played 20 years ago, you’d know how to get out of the way of that 94 mph Matt Cain fastball and not allow it to hit you in the head. Kids these days.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.
Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.
The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.