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Travis Shaw is in The Best Shape of His Life

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When you work a beat long enough, sometimes the stories come to you. For that reason I guess it’s kinda lame that I’ve made my beat ballplayers claiming to be in The Best Shape of Their Lives and not something like national security, but we all make choices in life.

Anyway, the Brewers’ best beat writer tipped me to this yesterday:

Thatcould be pretty scary for opposing pitchers given that the Mayor of Ding Dong City put up his best season to date in 2017, hitting .273/.349/.513 with 31 homers and 101 RBI in his first season in Milwaukee. Usually a BSOHL claim follows a down year and is aimed at making people think things will improve. It’s pretty bold to proclaim such a status when you’re already excelling. Maybe he’s just excited. Given last week’s transactions he’s now going to have two other fine hitters — Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yellich — hitting alongside him. According to McCalvy, that has made every Brewers player feel good lately.

Given their talent level the Brewers were gonna be fun this year as it was, but they’ll be even more fun simply by virtue of being one of the only teams that has actually tried to improve itself this offseason. Where can I buy a Milwaukee cap? Gotta root for something in this world, so why not root for trying? And Shaw’s an Ohio kid, so that makes it even better.

 

Clayton Kershaw struggles with control, walks six Marlins

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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.