Jeff Passan has a feature up about Pablo Sandoval. Specifically how his weight, personality and outstanding ability to smack baseballs around interact. Sandoval knows that balance won’t last forever, so he knows that changes need to be made … eventually:
“I’ve got this year and next year to change all the things,” Sandoval said. “It’s going to take me a while, but I can do it. I know I can do it.” … At some point, the reasoning goes, his lack of conditioning will catch up. Sandoval thinks it’s at 30 years old, when his metabolism may go to hell and send him up toward three bills. And it’s why he’s giving himself two years.
A lot of people think that throughout their 20s. Then they realize how much harder it is to lose weight in their 30s. Added to this is the fact that in two years, presumably, Sandoval is going to be in the first year of a lucrative long-term deal, which could quite easily sap any additional incentive he has.
Sandoval makes it work now. But looking at the history of big guys in baseball suggests that it’s not gonna work forever. One would hope that someone could impress that upon him now.
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.