Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw was ejected from Wednesday night’s game against the Diamondbacks for hitting Arizona outfielder Gerardo Parra with a pitch in the top of the sixth inning.
Some backstory to this one: The plunking came nearly 24 hours after Parra struck a pose and exchanged words with Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis following a seventh-inning home run Tuesday night. Parra was nearly struck in the head by a pitch just before he went yard, and he yucked it up all the way to home plate. Kershaw was shown by television cameras jawing at the D’Backs bench soon after, and a yelling match ensued for a minute or two. The umps obviously took notice.
Kershaw had allowed just one hit through five scoreless frames on Wednesday night against the first-place Snakes. He was at five strikeouts and had issued no walks. The 23-year-old ace was shutting down a first-place club in the middle of a Cy Young chase, and in front of his own fans in Los Angeles.
Which is why home plate umpire Tim Welke is now baseball’s enemy No. 1. If, you know, we’re basing that ranking on Twitter outrage. (Seriously, click here. Even the level-headed Joe Sheehan is fired up).
Welke didn’t issue a warning. Not before the game, and not after Kershaw struck Parra — instead opting for the immediate toss. Also, the pitch wasn’t all that inside. It barely grazed Parra’s elbow.
Kershaw put himself in a bad spot with Welke and crew for arguing cross-field on Tuesday night with half of the D’Backs roster, but Welke could have done a more thorough job of considering the circumstances.
It’s sadly almost unprecedented, but some discipline for the ump (this time) would seem to be in order.
Nationals pitcher Bronson Arroyo has partial tears of tendons in his rotator cuff in his right shoulder. Considering he’s 39 years old, no one would fault him if he decided to call it quits. But he has one more idea, MASN’s Mark Zuckerman reports: Arroyo is going to throw side-arm, or at least three-quarters.
“It hurts when he gets on top [of the baseball],” manager Dusty Baker said. He continued, “So we’re taking our time. And if not, if nothing else, he’s a good guy to have in your organization.”
Arroyo missed the latter half of the 2014 season and the entire 2015 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Prior to that, he was known as a workhorse, racking up at least 199 innings in each of nine seasons between 2005-13.
Padres pitcher Robbie Erlin has a partial tear of his ulnar collateral ligament and he’ll need Tommy John surgery as a result, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Times reports. Erlin landed on the disabled list on April 21. Now he’ll miss the rest of the season and likely the beginning of the 2017 season as well.
Erlin, 25, posted a 4.02 ERA with a 13/3 K/BB ratio in 15 2/3 innings spanning two starts and one relief appearance to begin the 2016 season.
Cesar Vargas moved into the rotation in Erlin’s absence and has pitched well thus far in two starts, yielding only one earned run with a 9/6 K/BB ratio over 10 1/3 innings.
Reds reliever Caleb Cotham allowed a pair of runs in the top of the eighth inning of Tuesday’s game against the Giants, setting a rather ignominious club record. It marks the 21st consecutive game in which the Reds’ bullpen has allowed a run, setting a new major league record, as C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer points out.
Entering Tuesday’s action, the Reds’ bullpen had been by far the worst in the majors with a 6.54 ERA. The Padres’ bullpen, second-worst, is comparatively much better at 5.27.
The last time the Reds’ bullpen had a clean night was April 10 against the Pirates. That afternoon, Dan Straily, Jumbo Diaz, and Ross Ohlendorf combined for five scoreless innings in a 2-1 victory.
Yankees reliever Aroldis Chapman was suspended 30 games by Major League Baseball under its domestic violence policy for an offseason incident in which he allegedly pushed and choked his girlfriend, then discharged a firearm at least eight times in his garage. Monday marks game number 30, and Chapman is set to rejoin the club then, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Manager Joe Girardi plans to insert Chapman directly into the closer’s role if a save situation arises against the Royals on Monday.
Chapman will make two appearances in the Gulf Coast League this week to continue warming up. He had been throwing in extended spring training games at the Yankees’ complex in Tampa.
The Yankees acquired Chapman from the Reds at the end of December, sending Caleb Cotham, Rookie Davis, Eric Jagielo, and Tony Renda to Cincinnati in return. While the back end of the bullpen hasn’t been an issue for the Yankees, seemingly everything else has for the 8-15, last place club.