UPDATE: ESPN has apparently taken down the post. I’m assuming this means that Brad Mills is no longer on the hot seat. Thanks for the quick edit, guys. Everyone screws up sometimes. A quick fix is the way to go. Except for you commenters. You still get no edit function.
8:49 AM: I was rather shocked this morning when I saw ESPN’s Rumor Central site write the following about managers on the hot seat:
The hottest seat belongs to Brad Mills, who has presided over the first 100-loss season in Houston Astros history. His contract is up at the end of the season and the Astros’ ownership group, which is still Drayton McLane at this point, show little inclination of exercising an option for 2012.
Shocked mostly because the Astros picked up Mills’ 2012 option almost a year ago, and even added an option for 2013. Picked it up because even the Astros realize that for as crappy a team they have at the moment, it’s certainly not Mills’ fault. Unless of course he was responsible for the Astros’ poor drafting and years of procrastinating on a necessary rebuilding job.
But even if they hadn’t picked up the option, how anyone can say that what has happened in Houston is Mills’ responsibility is a bit bewildering to me.
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.