Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman — somehow quietly — has not made an out since the fourth inning of Sunday’s game against the Padres. Since then, his plate appearances have gone: intentional walk, walk, double, two-run home run, double, solo home run, single, walk, walk, single, walk, solo home run. Those last two plate appearances have come in the first three innings of Wednesday night’s game against the Nationals. For those counting at home, that’s 12 consecutive plate appearances reaching base safely ending in five walks (one intentional), two singles, two doubles, and three home runs.
The official record for consecutive games reaching base safely — reaching via hit, walk, or hit-by-pitch — was set between June 16-19, 1893 by the Orioles’ Piggy Ward, who reached base in 17 consecutive trips to the plate.
Going into his third plate appearance of the night, Freeman is hitting .438/.534/.938. Those are almost Eric Thamesian numbers!
Update: Freeman grounded out leading off the sixth inning, ending his streak.
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.