Alex Rodriguez has Minnesota to thank for his playoff reputation not being even worse

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If you think Alex Rodriguez has a terrible reputation for his playoff performance now, just imagine what things would be like without the Twins’ pitching staff around.

As a lifelong Minnesotan and Twins fan I have some pretty vivid memories of A-Rod destroying my favorite team in the playoffs, and sure enough I crunched the numbers to find these startling stats:

For his postseason career Rodriguez has hit .391 with three homers and a 1.094 OPS in 10 games against the Twins, compared to hitting .246 with 10 homers and a .774 OPS in 62 games against every other team.

Unfortunately for Rodriguez and the Yankees the Twins might not be back in the playoffs for a while.

Clayton Kershaw struggles with control, walks six Marlins

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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.