Clayton Kershaw gives up three homers for first time

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It was bombs away off Clayton Kershaw on Wednesday, as the Rockies hit three homers off the Cy Young Award winner on their way to an 8-5 win.

The red-hot Carlos Gonzalez hit the first and last of those homers, with Wilin Rosario supplying a shot in the middle.

Kershaw had allowed just the two solo homers through seven innings when the Dodgers scored twice in the top of the eighth to take a 3-2 lead. That lengthy inning featured two pitching changes, but the Dodgers sent Kershaw back to the mound anyway. Unfortunately, the half-hour break might have done him in. A single, a sacrifice and another single tied the game at 3 before Gonzalez lined one over the fence in right field to make it 5-3 Colorado.

The Dodgers came back from there, scoring two runs in the top of the ninth to let Kershaw off the hook. However, Jason Giambi, needing only a sac fly to end the game, hit a three-run homer off Scott Elbert in the bottom of the ninth.

Kershaw had never allowed three homers in a game before. He gave up two homers just twice on his way to winning Cy Young honors last season. One of those outings was likewise a loss to the Rockies.

Gonzalez has seven homers in nine games after going his first 12 games of the season without one. He joined Adam Dunn as the only players to hit two homers off Kershaw in one game.

Cincinnati Reds fire Bryan Price

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The Cincinnati Reds have fired manager Bryan Price. He’ll be replaced on an interim basis by bench coach Jim Riggleman. The team also fired pitching coach Mack Jenkins. The club also added Louisville manager Pat Kelly to the staff as the new bench coach and Double-A pitching coach Danny Darwin as the new big league pitching coach.

It was only a matter of time for Price, whose Reds have begun the season 3-15. This was Price’s fifth season at the helm and the Reds never won more than 76 games in any of his previous seasons, doing so in his first year, in 2014. They won 68 games in both 2016 and 2017 and 64 games in 2015. While that’s far more attributable to the Reds talent level than anything Price ever did or did not do, at some point the manager will take the fall for a team that makes no progress.

Price’s tenure will likely be considered largely forgettable in the view of history, but he did have a pretty memorable moment as Reds manager in April of 2015, when he went on a profanity-laced tirade at the media because they reported the availability or lack thereof of certain players for an upcoming game. Which is part of the media’s job, even if Price didn’t fully grok that at the time. The tirade itself was pretty epic, though, with then Cincinnati Enquirer reporter C. Trent Rosecrans reporting that “there were 77 uses of the “F” word or a variant and 11 uses of a vulgar term for feces (two bovine, one equine).” 

Taking over will be Jim Riggleman, who last managed in the big leagues with the Washington Nationals, resigning in June of 2011 because he was unhappy that he did not get a contract extension. It was a weird episode, the sort of which a lot of guys couldn’t have come back from, perhaps being considered quitters. Riggleman took a job managing the Reds’ Double-A team, however, then moved on to Triple-A and then the Reds’ big league coaching staff. There’s something to be said for persistence. And for being a big league lifer.

Anyway, Price’s exit is not likely to change the Reds’ course too much in 2018. But, as it is so often said in baseball, sometimes you gotta make a change all the same.