Jeff Francoeur threw a batter out at first from right field

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I’ve offered several kudos to Jeff Francoeur for having a better-than-expected season this year. But given that I’ve still offered approximately 598 more slams than kudos in his career, I still have some work to do.  So it’s definitely appropriate for me to note that Francoeur shot a dude down cold from right field yesterday afternoon.

It was Michael Taylor at the plate. Here’s the play. Bang, bang, he’s dead.

I don’t mean this as a slight at Francoeur, but really, the reason 99% of right fielders don’t make that play has just as much to do with the fact that they’d think twice about it as it has to do with their arm.  Francoeur has a fabulous arm, of course, but what really made that play is that it just never occurred to him that he’s not supposed to be able to throw a young guy out on that play. A guy not without at least a little speed (Taylor has stolen bases in the double digits several times in the minors).

My credit-where-it-is-due tour of the Jeff Francoeur Experience will continue unless and until he starts doing dumb stuff again.  But there really hasn’t been any of that to speak of this year.

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.