To see how pointless five-game suspensions are for starting pitchers and how silly the entire appeal process can be, look no further than Indians right-hander Jeanmar Gomez.
Yesterday he was given a five-game suspension for plunking Mike Moustakas over the weekend. Gomez has appealed, but plans to drop the appeal and serve the suspension as soon as he’s done making his next scheduled start Saturday.
In other words, he’s basically just delaying the suspension long enough to a) take his upcoming normal turn in the rotation interrupted and then b) make it so that having to sit out five games doesn’t inconvenience him beyond pushing back his next start by one extra day.
And the end result is essentially just allowing Gomez to dictate when he serves the suspension and how he can minimize the impact on his normal routine. Helluva system.
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.