Jackie Bradley Jr. made walk-drawing history in opener

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Jackie Bradley Jr. went hitless in his Red Sox debut yesterday, but the 22-year-old outfielder drew three walks in five plate appearances against the Yankees to become the first player with three or more walks in his MLB debut since 2000.

And since 1950 only seven players have drawn three or more walks in their first MLB game:

Jackie Bradley Jr.    2013
Danny Ardoin          2000
Danny Klassen         1998
Jorge Piedre          1991
Larry Walker          1989
Joe Lahoud            1968
Dick Donovan          1950

I’d have guessed that most of the players who were capable of drawing three or more walks in their MLB debut were pretty damn good hitters, but it turns out not so much. Larry Walker was a stud and Joe Lahoud had some decent years, but Danny Ardoin, Danny Klassen, Jorge Piedre barely had MLB careers and Dick Donovan was a pitcher.

Thanks to Baseball-Reference.com’s must-have “Play Index” for the ability to look stuff like this up.

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.