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Kershaw won’t be suspended for plunking Parra

Sep 16, 2011, 1:04 AM EDT

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Los Angeles Dodgers left-handed ace Clayton Kershaw will not be suspended for hitting Arizona’s Gerardo Parra with a pitch on Wednesday night, according to Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times.

Umpire Bill Welke ejected Kershaw quickly in the sixth inning after an inside fastball bounced off Parra’s elbow. Welke was clearly reacting to the previous night’s festivities, when Kershaw screamed at Diamondbacks players after Parra stood and watched a home run.

Welke’s reaction is not surprising. In a way, it would have been more surprising if Kershaw had not plunked Parra at some point. Even D-backs broadcaster Mark Grace expected some fireworks, saying excitedly on Tuesday night’s game broadcast that “Kershaw’s gonna drill somebody. Alright!”

The problem is, if Kershaw did in fact drill Parra on purpose, he did about as good a job as possible in making it subtle. Parra was hugging the plate, and Kershaw’s pitch was not that far off the plate. A fastball to the middle of the back or the ribs would be one thing, but the pitch in question simply wasn’t that obvious.

The lack of a suspension proves that. And that’s a good thing. Kershaw is a strong contender for the NL Cy Young award, and it would be a shame to see him miss any starts the rest of the way over a minor incident.

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  1. dailyrev - Sep 16, 2011 at 7:24 AM

    Ugh, it was not a “plunking” or a “drillling.” The man was pitching a one hit shutout; he’s pitching right now to win something that most big league pitchers can only dream of having once in their careers; and he was throwing inside for a reason. If you watched the game, you know that Parra, in his first AB, had received fastballs away and hammered one of them into LF (the only hit Kershaw had given up) — he was working inside because he needed to keep Parra off the outside edge.

    All that explains the obvious reactions of Kershaw, his catcher, and his mgr. But as I mentioned at the other post, the only ugly thing that could come of this is that Torre would attempt to suspend him. So fortunately sanity prevailed here.

  2. purnellmeagrejr - Sep 16, 2011 at 8:00 AM

    agree on all counts – 1-1, 2-1, 1-2, 3-1 etc.

  3. paperlions - Sep 16, 2011 at 8:15 AM

    I am not saying he hit him on purpose, I don’t know if he did or not. But the pitch was not anywhere near the plate, it was at least 16″ inside according to PitchFX. It isn’t like he was hit by a pitch that barely missed being a strike, it was right in the middle of the batters box.

    It was only Kershaw’s 3rd HBP all year long. That is an incredibly low number for as many innings as he has pitched. Am I supposed to believe his 3rd HBP all year just so happened to be Parra the day after the posing incident? Maybe it was a coincidence….but honestly, the odds on that are pretty long.

    • steve7921 - Sep 16, 2011 at 9:05 AM

      16 inches inside? Are you saying that the pitch that hit Parra was 16 inches inside….2 inches shorter than than home plate? There is no way that pitch was in the middle of the batters box!

      If that pitch had been 16 inches inside, Kershaw would have been suspended!!!

      • paperlions - Sep 16, 2011 at 10:30 AM

        Yes, I am saying that because 1) it looked like it was that far inside, if you actually step through the video you will see that Parra is not crowding the plate and that the catcher is reaching across his body into the middle of the batters box to catch the ball, and 2) PitchFX is VERY accurate and that is how far it says it was inside.

        Link: http://www.brooksbaseball.net/pfxVB/cache/location.php-pitchSel=477132&game=gid_2011_09_14_arimlb_lanmlb_1&batterX=38&innings=yyyyyyyyy&sp_type=1&s_type=3.gif

  4. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Sep 16, 2011 at 2:01 PM

    Throwing inside should not get you tossed from a game. I don’t know if the benches were warned before the game, or the night before, and I think the problem stems from that. The umpire doesn’t have to explain anything. If he had warned the benches before the game, come out and say it and the controversy goes away. But like with most things, if people are left to speculate about what happened their assumptions will probably be much worse than the reality. Both managers give press conferences after games, I don’t think it is unreasonable for the crew chief to do the same.

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