Ryan Dempster will return from his five-game suspension for throwing at Alex Rodriguez and start next Friday, the Red Sox announced.
Because the Red Sox have off days tomorrow and Monday the suspension didn’t really force them to juggle the rotation a whole lot. Without the suspension Dempster would have been in line to start Saturday against the Dodgers, but they can simply move up Jon Lester to take his place while also moving up Jake Peavy.
And because Dempster has a 4.77 ERA, including 27 runs allowed in 35 innings since the All-Star break, skipping him for one turn in the rotation isn’t such a bad thing for the Red Sox anyway.
As for Dempster, he basically gets a week of paid vacation and then will return to the mound on August 30 against a weak-hitting White Sox lineup at Fenway Park, where the Boston crowd will no doubt give him a big ovation. Helluva punishment.
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.