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Diamondbacks will use baseball humidor in 2018

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Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the Arizona Diamondbacks will use a humidor to store baseballs in 2018. The idea, as in Coors Field, is to keep balls from drying out in the arid western air, presumably cutting down on their flight and thus suppressing offense.

The Diamondbacks first considered using a humidor years ago, when Jerry Dipoto was the general manager. When Kevin Towers took over as GM the idea was shelved, as he was cool to the idea. Current GM Mike Hazen, however, confirmed that the team will use one for the upcoming season.

The Rockies began using their humidor in 2002, after stadium engineer Tony Cowell came up with the idea (neat story by the way!). Because of the elevation and how large the outfield is at Coors Field, offense remains high there, but following the installation of the humidor, home runs were reduced significantly. Back when a humidor was being considered for the Diamondbacks, a couple of studies came out suggesting that the offensive-suppressing effects of a humidor would be much greater in Phoenix than in Colorado, and could reduce home runs by as much as 38%. I suppose we’ll see.

In other news, J.D. Martinez hit a ton of homers in Arizona last year and most of them had a lot of room to spare. If the Dbacks are gonna make hitting home runs even harder next year, maybe they should look into a reunion.

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.