Former substitute teacher bests Kershaw, Marlins top Dodgers

Trevor Richards has worked as a substitute teacher and in a brewery, just trying to make ends meet while he chased a major league career.

He outworked three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw on Wednesday night, and it seems his days of offseason odd jobs to help pay rent might be behind him.

J.T. Realmuto homered twice and Miguel Rojas went deep to help Miami capitalize on an unusually wild night by Kershaw (1-4).

The left-hander tied a career high with six walks, a mark he hadn’t reached since 2010, and left after allowing three runs in five innings. Kershaw had only allowed three walks all season.

Kershaw struggled with his control but was able to strand eight runners over the first four innings without yielding a run. His luck ran out in the fifth after he issued a pair of two-out walks. Rojas followed by drilling a three-run homer off the left field foul pole, giving the Marlins a 3-0 lead.

“I felt good in the first inning but after that I didn’t feel so great,” Kershaw said. “I almost skated out of it but my command was an issue. I really don’t know why.”

Realmuto hit a solo shot in the sixth to make it 4-0 and added a two-run blast — his fourth of the season — in the eighth. Realmuto has hit safely in all 19 career games against the Dodgers, the longest hitting streak versus the Dodgers to begin a career since 1900.

“I feel good at the plate,” Realmuto said. “My swing feels really good and the timing as well. I’m getting good pitches to hit.”

“Whenever you change a rule in baseball, people predict all sorts of dire outcomes, and we have avoided even the smallest of incidents related either to the mound visit rule or the shorter inning breaks,” Manfred said Tuesday. “Secondly, I’m positive about them because they’ve been effective. We are way down in terms of mound visits, I think down about 50 percent, and our inning breaks are significantly shorter. I take both of those as positives in an ongoing effort to make sure that we’re producing an entertainment product with as little dead time as possible.”

Under MLB’s new rules, inning breaks are now 2 minutes, 5 seconds; they were previously 2 minutes, 25 seconds.

Manfred is a proponent of the pitch clocks in use in the minor leagues, but he said he was “not in a position where I’m going to say for certain whether or not we’re going to have pitch clocks at the big league level.” The players’ association refused to agree to pitch clocks, and Manfred backed off of his threat to unilaterally implement them this year.

The commissioner also spoke about the number of games postponed by poor weather so far. Games in Baltimore and Pittsburgh were rained out on Tuesday, bringing the total postponements this season to 28, the most related to weather through April since the commissioner’s office started keeping those records in 1986.jets_095

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