The Best: The Red Sox are always included in lists of franchises with proud and grand traditions, but even if they are a classic organization, they have mixed it up a little bit over the years. Red hats, for one thing. Changing the lettering on the road unis from blue to red. All in all, I prefer the unadulterated classic, with the navy cap and the blue “Boston” on the roadies. Which, to their credit, they’ve maintained most of the time over the past 75 years.
The Worst: The Red Sox’ flirtation with doubleknit pullovers — while briefer than most teams’ — looked particularly bad for the same reason the Cardinals’ did: trying to update a classic. I know some of you feel differently about that, but that’s just because you’re in your 40s and you grew up watching those 70s Sox teams. Sorry, it looked bad. Beyond that, it’s possible to get a bit too literal with a team nickname. Still, the worst Red Sox uniform earns the title less due to aesthetic considerations than symbolic ones. In a word: pinstripes. Could you imagine that today? If the Sox announced a switch to pinstripes the city would be burning by sundown.
Assessment: When I did this a couple of years ago, the only suggestion I had was that they switch back to the blue “Boston” on the road uniforms. Which they have since done. Behold the power of basement bloggers.
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.