Ken Macha complains to MLB about Brewers being plunked


Brewers batters have been hit by an MLB-high 47 pitches this season and after the latest plunking of Prince Fielder over the weekend manager Ken Macha revealed that he’s complained to officials about the situation.
Macha said he’s spoken to former umpire and current umpiring department special assistant Bruce Froemming, and Guy Curtright of reports that “he called for Bob Watson, MLB vice president for rules and operations, to review things personally.”
I’m all for managers sticking up for their players, but two factors make Macha’s stance seem kind of silly. First, while the Brewers lead baseball by being hit 47 times they aren’t that far ahead of the pack. In fact, the White Sox have been hit 46 times in two fewer games, so their hit-by-pitch rate is actually higher. Ozzie Guillen should probably co-sign Macha’s complaint to MLB.
Beyond that, Fielder and Rickie Weeks are the only Brewers to be hit by more than three pitches and together account for two-thirds of the team’s total. Fielder is definitely being plunked more now than in past years, but Weeks just gets hit a lot, period. He’s been plunked 17 times in 441 plate appearances, which is only slightly higher than his career rate of 14 per 441 plate appearances.

Clayton Kershaw completes spring training with a 0.00 ERA

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Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.

In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.

The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.

The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.