Sky Kalkman at ESPN’s TMI blog (really?) has run the numbers, and thinks this is the optimal Yankees lineup for 2010:
1. Nick Johnson
2. Mark Teixeira
3. Curtis Granderson
4. Alex Rodriguez
5. Robinson Cano
6. Derek Jeter
7. Nick Swisher
8. Jorge Posada
9. Brett Gardner
My sources tell me that Mr. Kalkman has been placed in protective custody so that no small-ball lovers and/or Derek Jeter fanboys will be able to do him bodily harm for disrespecting their particular crushes so thoroughly and completely.
But everyone should really relax because we’ll never see that lineup. Joe Girardi is angling for a new contract this year. The only thing that would better ensure his departure than batting The Captain 6th would be turning heel, smacking John Sterling with a metal chair during an interview, and donning a Red Sox Mexican wrestling mask while making devil horns or something.
No, forget that. A lot of people would dig the whole hitting-Sterling-with-a-chair/devil horns thing. Batting Jeter 6th would be the ultimate career suicide.
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.