Remember when we were all wondering what was wrong with Clayton Kershaw?

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May and June was fun. It was back when everyone was wondering what was wrong with Clayton Kershaw. Here’s a screencap from a Google search:

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Multiply that by about a gabillion, as everyone seemed to want to ask that question. I feel like, with hindsight, we can definitively say that nothing was wrong with Clayton Kershaw. At least nothing that a couple of starts couldn’t fix.

Last night he was damn nigh untouchable, striking out eight, walking none and allowing only three hits in eight shutout innings. And that’s not some anomaly.

Kershaw hasn’t allowed a run in five of his last six starts and has lowered his ERA from 3.08 to 2.39 during that time. In those starts he has 48 innings, has allowed two earned runs, walked three guys and struck out 61. Heck, in his last 12 starts he’s got a 1.09 ERA, has issued 12 walks and has struck out 119. He’s on pace for 296Ks on the season. No one has struck out 300 since Randy Johnson did it in 2002.

I don’t begrudge people who ask the “what’s wrong with [great player]” question when [great player] is not doing so great. It’s something people want to talk about. But I’m starting to feel like maybe, just maybe, the only thing worthy of analysis in those situations is whether or not the guy is hurt. If yes, that’s what’s wrong with him. If no, he’s gonna be just fine, because he’s a great player.

Maybe we’ll guess wrong on the occasional Dale Murphy mystery falloff now and again, but most of the time all that one needs is, well, time.

Didi Gregorius will wear a mask during games

Gregorius will wear a mask
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Didi Gregorius will wear a mask during games this year. That’s what the Phillies infielder tells the Philadelphia Inquirer:

“We are trying to go through the guidelines and trying to do everything we can do to stay safe, so, that’s why people see me walking around with a mask on and stuff. I am keeping myself safe, wearing a mask everywhere I go. So, I have to keep it on me all the time.”

Gregorius will wear a mask both while batting and out in the field, he said.

A big reason for it is that he has a chronic kidney condition which makes him “high risk” under Major League Baseball’s safety protocols. He could opt out if he wanted to but Gregorius, who signed a $14 million deal with the Phillies last winter, is a free agent again this coming offseason. He is coming off of a down year in 2019, having hit .238/.276/.441 with 16 home runs and 61 RBI across 344 plate appearances. Gregorius underwent Tommy John surgery in October 2018 and didn’t make his 2019 season debut until June 7. A big reason he took a one-year deal was to reestablish his value for next season’s go-around on the free agent market and he doesn’t want the long layoff going into what could be his last significant payday.

Major League Baseball is not requiring players or umpires to wear masks on the field during games or practices, though it is reportedly looking into clear face shields for home plate umpires to wear under their usual protective masks.

Gregorius will wear a mask to keep himself safe, he said, but he also notes in the article that “I think it adds safety for everybody, for me and people around me.” Here’s hoping, given his vulnerability, everyone around him is being as safe as he is.