The Reds are already without left-hander Sean Marshall due to a shoulder sprain, but their bullpen was handed another blow today, as Jonathan Broxton was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a flexor mass strain in his right elbow.
Broxton allowed the winning run in Thursday’s 14-inning loss to the Cubs, after which he revealed that he has been dealing with elbow soreness. So yes, Reds manager Dusty Baker turned to an injured pitcher as opposed to using Aroldis Chapman. Oh well.
Broxton, who was brought back over the winter on a three-year, $21 million contract, owns a 4.33 ERA and 20/11 K/BB ratio in 27 innings this season. It sounds like the Reds could be on the lookout for bullpen help leading up to the trade deadline next month.
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.