Jeremy Bonderman’s return to the big leagues was met with either indifference or snark. The right-hander hadn’t faced Major League competition during the regular season since October 1, 2010 and hadn’t had an extended run of success since 2006. Not much was expected of the 30-year-old when the Mariners promoted him to make his season debut on June 2, and even less was expected after he surrendered seven runs in four and two-thirds innings to the Twins.
In four starts since then, however, Bonderman has allowed just four runs in 25.1 innings (1.42 ERA). This afternoon, he held the Athletics to two runs over five and one-third innings of work. He isn’t striking anyone out (just 10 thus far in 30 innings), which should make one skeptical of his sustainability. Nevertheless, it is nice to see Bonderman persevere through all of the adversity he has faced over his career.
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.