Well, maybe freedom is not the right word — it’s the army he’s trying to avoid here, not a jail sentence — but he is on the cusp of being able to take advantage of his full earning potential in Major League Baseball without a bunch of hassle: South Korea is in the Asian Games baseball final, where they’ll take on Taiwan tomorrow.
I’m kind of torn on who to root for here. On the one hand, sure, I’d like to see Choo play baseball in the U.S. without having to become a criminal at home or renounce his citizenship or whatever. On the other hand, if every able-bodied Korean has to serve in the army, I’m not sure how it’s fair that Choo gets out of it simply for being good at baseball. Not that anything I think about how South Korea sets up its military rules matters.
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.