Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com has a good article up about ejections in Major League Baseball this year. And how, despite the fact we have replay now, which many people thought would reduce ejections, ejections are actually up.
Castrovince explains the reasons for this, and they all make sense. The upshot: plunking wars and arguing balls and strikes — two areas which are not subject to replay — always were where the most ejections came from in the first place. Also worth noting — and something I did note when people said replay would cut down on manager arguing times — is that actual close calls that replay address don’t tend to lead to super-crazy arguments anyway, or ejections for that matter. It’s tone and temperament stuff, which is more likely to arise on balls-and-strikes that leads to the super colorful arguments.
Anyway, it’s a good story, if for no other reason than the A.J. Pierzynski anecdote which kicks it off:
Say what you want about that guy, but he is all kinds of fun when he wants to be.
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.