Link-O-Rama: Umpires, Pedro, Mariano, Brenly

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* MLB announced the umpiring crews for the ALCS and NLCS, and first-round goats C.B. Bucknor, Jerry Meals, and Phil Cuzzi are all absent.
Committing to improving umpire performance and utilizing instant replay further to avoid obvious blown calls would be nice, but short of that keeping the offending umpires off the field is something at least.
* Pedro Martinez hasn’t pitched since September 30 because of injuries and bad weather, but he’ll get the Game 2 assignment for the Phillies and Charlie Manuel said yesterday that he’s “capable of throwing anywhere from like 75 to 90 pitches, maybe 95, maybe even 100.”
* Mariano Rivera has been named Delivery Man of the Year, winning for the third time in the award’s five years of existence. Jonathan Papelbon was the winner in 2007 and Brad Lidge won last season. Joe Nathan finished second to Rivera this year.
* ESPN.com’s Rob Neyer wonders why Bob Brenly isn’t a candidate for various managerial openings given his World Series win in 2001 and .536 winning percentage in four years at the helm in Arizona. Cubs fans ought to be happy that Brenly isn’t a hotter managerial name, because along with play-by-play man Len Kasper he forms one of the best announcing duos in the game.

Clayton Kershaw struggles with control, walks six Marlins

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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.