UPDATE: The bullpen choke is complete. Rafael Dolis stayed on to pitch the 10th and the Reds won it on a sacrifice fly. After a Dolis throwing error, of course. Bad day for the Cubbies.
3:29 PM: As this post goes up the Cubs-Reds game is still going on. But it shouldn’t be. And for that, we have Carlos Marmol to thank. Or blame, if you’re so inclined.
Ryan Dempster shut out the Reds for eight innings and Carlos Marmol took the hill in the ninth with a 3-0 lead. Then this happened:
- Fielder’s choice/error, a runner scores
- Single to load the bases
- Walk, a runner scores
And with that it was 3-2 Cubs. Rafael Dolis then came in to relieve Marmol, induced a run-scoring double play and then struck out the next batter he faced. It’s 3-3 in extra innings as this one goes to press.
Marmol is a hot mess right now. As Dave Cameron just pointed out on Twitter, he has walked over 25% of the batters he has faced this year. That’s just not acceptable. Something’s gotta change.
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.