Dodgers' streak of limiting walks ends in Denver

Dodgers' streak of limiting walks ends in Denver
Dodgers starter Zack Greinke delivers a pitch during a game against the Cincinnati Reds in May. Until Sunday, individual Dodgers starters had only walked two or fewer batters in 39 consecutive games. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

The Dodgers have already left their mark in history this season.

For 39 consecutive games, their starting pitcher walked two or fewer batters, the longest such streak in baseball dating to at least 1900, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.


The run ended Sunday, when Josh Beckett walked three batters in five innings during an 8-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.

Beckett said he figured the streak would end in the high altitude of Denver, where breaking balls don't break as much as they do at sea level.

"I knew if it got to me, it was going to end," Beckett said. "I don't have the stuff to pitch here and not get around the strike zone."

With a rotation consisting of Beckett, Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Dan Haren, the Dodgers broke the previous record of 36, which was set by the Minnesota Twins in 2005.

"We have a bunch of strike throwers on our team, so if any team could do it, it's a team like ours," Greinke said.

Greinke added, "If we counted our bullpen, it'd be a lot harder."

On the mend

Carl Crawford could spend significant time on the bench when he returns to the Dodgers, Manager Don Mattingly intimated.

Crawford was scheduled Monday to play in the third of at least five games with triple-A Albuquerque. The former All-Star left fielder has been sidelined since May 28 because of a sprained ankle and problems with his Achilles' tendon.

In Crawford's absence, Matt Kemp has become the Dodgers' primary left fielder. Mattingly implied that wouldn't change.

"We're playing pretty good and I don't expect to be making a bunch of changes," he said. "What's that saying? Don't mess with a good thing?"

With Crawford unavailable, the Dodgers have more or less settled on an everyday outfield, with Kemp in left, Yasiel Puig in right, and Andre Ethier and Scott Van Slyke sharing time in center. Mattingly acknowledged his players might be benefiting from the increased stability.

"Yeah, I think there could be something to that," Mattingly said. "I think a guy knows that when he comes to the park, he's going to play."

Mattingly said he isn't concerned that Crawford's return could affect the team.


"We'll just have to deal with it when he gets here," Mattingly said. "You know what? You never know what happens in five days, six days. Things tend to work themselves out."

Up next

Ryu (9-4, 3.08 earned-run average) will face the Detroit Tigers and Justin Verlander (7-7, 4.71) at Comerica Park on Tuesday at 4 p.m. PDT. On the air: SportsNet LA. Radio: 570, 1020 (Spanish).

Twitter: @dylanohernandez