After using Zack Greinke as their starting pitcher each of the last three games, the Brewers have decided to defer to Marco Estrada for Saturday’s game against the Pirates.
Greinke’s streak began last Saturday, when he was ejected after facing just his second batter of the day against the Astros. Since he threw a mere four pitches, the Brewers elected to bring him back to start Sunday’s game versus Houston. He also received the starting assignment in Pittsburgh Friday in Milwaukee’s first game after the All-Star break.
The streak didn’t go too well for Greinke, as he allowed nine earned runs in eight innings between the three games. He took the loss in the game in which he was ejected in the first after one of the two runners he left on base scored in the first. The Brewers won the remaining two games, even though Greinke struggled in both. They prevailed 5-3 on Sunday and 10-7 last night.
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.