MLBits: Vlad Jr.'s Big Night, Kershaw Yanked Out of History, Kappler Dismisses Baseball's Unwritten Rules, More

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MLBits: Vlad Jr.’s Big Night, Kershaw Yanked Out of History, Kappler Dismisses Baseball’s Unwritten Rules, More

Chicago Cubs

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Dave Roberts Pulls Clayton Kershaw Amid Perfecto Bid

There have been 23 perfect games in the history of Major League Baseball. With just 80 pitches thrown and a perfecto in tow through seven innings, Dodgers skipper Dave Roberts pulled Clayton Kershaw from a game on Wednesday with the future Hall of Famer just six outs away from history.

Kershaw wasn’t just perfect through seven innings in Minnesota; he was downright dominant with 13 strikeouts through his seven innings of work. Still, Dave Roberts went to the bullpen to preserve his ace for the long haul with the Dodgers a clear-cut favorite to compete for a World Series ring this fall.

I get that Kershaw missed last year’s postseason with arm issues, and the Dodgers are looking at the big picture … but come on. You have to let your guy see this one through. Even if you have the bullpen going and you’re playing it out-to-out, Kershaw has to have the chance to go for the perfect game.

Of course, Clayton Kershaw said all the right things when asked about the decision after the game: “Those are selfish goals. We’re trying to win. That’s really all we’re here for,” Kershaw said. If Kershaw isn’t mad about it, it doesn’t make much sense for anyone else to be angry about it. So, I guess that’s all she wrote for this story.

Vlad Jr.’s Big Night in the Bronx

It was a big night for Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in the Bronx.

The young slugger not only clubbed three home runs in a game for the second time in his young career, but he did it after his hand was stepped on while making a play at first base. And he even got a hat tip from Gerrit Cole for his big night.

Here’s home run No. 1 on the night in the top of the first in New York:

While making a stretch for a throw at first base, Vlad Jr. had his hand stepped on by Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks resulting in a cut that would require two stitches after the game.

Guerrero would hit another home run off of Gerrit Cole in the third inning and then add a double off the Yankees ace in the top of the sixth inning. All Gerrit Cole could do was tip his cap to Vladdie at that point.

You’re doing pretty well when you go three-for-three with two home runs and a double against Gerrit Cole and get a hat tip from the Yankees ace. But Guerrero added one more home run for good measure in the eighth inning! Guerrero went 4-for-4 with three home runs, a double, and 4 RBI in a 6-4 Blue Jays win over the Yankees in the Bronx on Wednesday night. It’s only April 14, and Vladdie is already making his case for the American League MVP Award. The 23-year-old slugger owns a .371 batting average, four home runs, eight RBI, and a 1.374 OPS through the season’s first six games.

Gabe Kapler on Unwritten Rules: “Doesn’t Make Any Sense.”

You might have seen some things from Tuesday night’s game between the San Francisco Giants and the San Diego Padres. The Giants led the Padres with San Francisco up nine runs when Mauricio Dubon bunted for a hit, upsetting the Padres dugout and players on the field. After the game, Dubon said that “he’s not trying to disrespect anybody, we’re trying to win a series, and if that means creating a rally so they can burn arms, that’s it …”

Giants manager Gabe Kapler defended Dubon after the game and said that he’s trying to win series, not games, and they don’t plan on taking their foot off the gas for any team this season. Kapler doubled down on his disregard for baseball’s unwritten rules on Wednesday morning:

I, for one, am with Kapler on the silliness behind baseball’s unwritten rules. Kapler’s rationale that their goal is to get deep into opposing bullpens makes perfect sense, and they’re trying to win every game, and that’s GOOD for baseball. Seeing teams going for wins every day is a good thing, regardless of your feelings. But, if this is where Kapler wants to plant his flag, he’d better not get caught being mad over anything that an opposing team does to his guys in the same spirit as his sentiment.

Odds and Ends …

•   Oops! 😬:

•   The effortless power that Eloy Jiménez possesses is one of the most beautiful things in baseball. Jiménez doesn’t just hit baseballs; he massacre’s them. This one comes at the expense of last year’s American League Cy Young Award winner, Robbie Ray. If Eloy could manage to (finally) get an entire season worth of at-bats in, he’ll hit 45+ home runs.

•   This is pretty darn cool!

•   So is this:

•   Guardians rookie Steven Kwan went an impressive 116 pitches seen before he recorded a swing and miss! Cleveland humorously memorialized that streak on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon. Kwan owns a 1.392 OPS through his first six major league games. Like the rest of Cleveland’s other-worldly early offense, there’s some regression in line for Kwan, but what an impressive and fun start to the season.

•   Pete Alonso had himself a day on Wednesday!

Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is the Lead NFL Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.