Cardinals right-hander Joe Kelly hasn’t pitched in the majors since April 16 due to a severe strain of his left hamstring, but Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the plan calls for him to be activated to start Friday against the Brewers.
Kelly allowed one run over 4 1/3 innings for Triple-A Memphis yesterday and owns a 2.61 ERA and 4/6 K/BB ratio in 10 1/3 innings through three minor league rehab starts. The original expectation was that he would make one more start in the minors before being activated, but it turns out that he’ll replace the recently-optioned Marco Gonzalez in the rotation. Tyler Lyons, who was called up to take Gonzalez’s spot on the roster, will pitch out of the bullpen.
Kelly won the fifth starter job over Carlos Martinez out of spring training and posted a 0.59 ERA over his first three starts in April before the hamstring strain. Because of injuries to Michael Wacha and Jaime Garcia, now Kelly and Martinez will both have spots in the rotation.
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.