Ernesto Frieri came into yesterday’s game against the Yankees with a 0.00 ERA in 26.1 innings spread over 26 appearances for the Angels since they acquired him from the Padres in early May, but he’s perfect no more.
Frieri walked Robinson Cano to lead off the ninth inning, Mark Teixeira followed with a two-run homer, and the Yankees got to him for a third run on Curtis Granderson’s bases-loaded walk later in the frame as his ERA ballooned all the way to 1.03.
Or as Frieri put it afterward: “I’m human. I knew that was going to happen.”
Prior to that rough inning Frieri had allowed zero homers (obviously) and a grand total of eight hits in 105 plate appearances spread over 26 games, racking up an incredible 45 strikeouts. And even with those three runs included Frieri’s career numbers remain amazing with a 2.07 ERA, .185 opponents’ batting average, and 182 strikeouts in 134.2 innings.
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.