Like the bad calls mentioned earlier, Jeter’s bunt attempt with two strikes on him in the seventh ended up not making a difference, but my mouth was agape when he tried to lay it down all the same. What were you thinking, Derek? Did Girardi actually give you the bunt sign with two strikes and a rally brewing?
“That was me. That was stupid. I had the bunt early on and it was taken off, but I thought I would try to do it. It was dumb for me to try and do it with two strikes.”
I suppose you can go one of two ways with this: believe that Jeter thinks he’s invincible and can get away with risky-to-the-point-of-ridiculous plays, or alternatively, believe that for as easy as they make this game look sometimes, it’s crazy out there, especially in the postseason, and even the greatest of ballplayers lose their gravity once in awhile and make a bad decision.
Given the fun I’ve had with Jeter in this space the past some of you may be surprised to hear that I believe the latter. But the fact is that Jeter doesn’t have a long rap sheet of dumb plays over the course of his career, so he can be excused for the rare brain lock.
Especially considering that A.J. Burnett and Mariano Rivera rendered it harmless.
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.