Earlier this week Reds president Bob Castellini said he “would like to see Dusty Baker as a member of our organization for many years to come.”
However, yesterday the impending free agent manager told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that he hasn’t had any contract talks with the team since spring training.
Baker, who’s finishing up a two-year contract, said “it was nice to hear that [what Castellini said], but in meantime I’ve got work to do. The same work I had to do five months ago.”
Cincinnati has the second-best record in the league at 71-47, leading the NL Central by 6.0 games over Pittsburgh and 7.0 games over St. Louis after the Reds went just 79-83 last season.
Fay writes that Baker promised during the winter that he wouldn’t talk about his contract status during the season and has followed through for the most part, but also says “it’s clear that working as quasi-lame duck has put a bit of a chip on Baker’s shoulder.”
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.