Report: Mets request permission to interview Al Avila

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According to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com, the Detroit Free-Press reports that the Mets have requested permission to interview Tigers assistant general manager Al Avila for their general manager vacancy. Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com mentioned Avila as a possibility earlier this week.

Avila has worked under Dave Dombrowski and the Tigers since 2002, but has also spent time as a special assistant to then-Pirates GM Dave Littlefield and as director of scouting with the Marlins. He has interviewed for general manager positions with the Reds, Orioles, Mariners and Diamondbacks and was a finalist for the job which went to Jack Zduriencik in October of 2008.

Call me cynical, but this sure feels like the Mets simply fulfilling their obligation to consider a minority candidate before hiring who they really want.

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.