Clayton Kershaw’s scoreless streak, which dated back to a June 13 win over the Diamondbacks, was snapped after 41 2/3 innings when he gave up a homer to San Diego’s Chase Headley in the sixth inning Thursday.
Kershaw shook it off and ended up pitching a three-hitter for the victory in a 2-1 game. It was his eighth straight win.
The homer that snapped Kershaw’s streak came with two outs in the sixth, and Headley had fouled off three two-strike pitches to stay alive before depositing a fastball over the wall in left.
Kershaw’s scoreless streak, which technically will be recorded as 41 innings by MLB and Elias, was the longest since the Mets’ R.A. Dickey went 44 2/3 innings in a row in 2012 and the third longest since 1990 (Arizona’s Brandon Webb went 42 innings in a row in 2007). Of course, the Dodgers have the two longest streaks of all-time: Orel Hershiser’s 59-inning streak in 1988 and Don Drysdale’s 58-inning streak in 1968.
The homer was just the fifth allowed by Kershaw in 93 1/3 innings this season. His previous came June 8 against the Rockies at Coors Field.
Kershaw finished the game with 11 strikeouts and earned his 11th victory against two losses. He would lead the majors with a 1.78 ERA, but he’s still short of qualifying after missing all of April with back inflammation.
According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.
A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.
Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.
Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.
The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.
The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.
Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.
Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.