Marlins 6, Braves 3

Atlanta Braves vs. Florida Marlins – Box Score – July 29, 2009 – ESPN

So, we’ve got a pitcher under a long-term, big money contract, and he can’t pitch on four days’ rest. This is a problem. Kenshin Kawakami on five days’ rest is a fine pitcher. On four days’, he’s basically a righthanded Horacio Ramirez. He gave up all six runs and didn’t get out of the fifth inning. Most of the runs scored on homers, one by Ramirez and one by Uggla, but they were solo shots. The big blow was a three-run homer by the pitcher. That’s just disgusting.

It was not necessarily all his problem. I don’t like to complain about the umpires, but I’ll make an exception for Billy Hohn, who (a) is very bad, and (b) seems to have a vendetta against the Braves. He’s the same guy who ejected three Braves in a game earlier this year, including Chipper, who was playing third base while Hohn was behind the plate. Tonight, he ejected McCann for arguing balls and strikes, from the dugout, when apparently it wasn’t even Brian arguing in the first place, and also the pitch really was about a foot outside. He then baited Bobby and threw him out of the game for “arguing balls and strikes” too. (I mentioned last week, the rule against arguing balls and strikes is essentially the “umpires can throw anyone out” rule, because everyone argues balls and strikes.) Hohn’s strike zone was essentially random, and tiny, until late in the game, when suddenly it was huge. As someone suggested in the game thread, it really is time that MLB broke the umpires again, because they think they’re bigger than the game.

ACHE was the big man for the Braves, hitting a two-run homer and also doubling twice. Unfortunately, nobody around him did much, as McCann and Escobar were both 0-4. Kotchman hit a solo homer in the fifth. The Braves actually outhit the Marlins, 10-8, but were charged with (I won’t say “gave up” after that umpiring performance — though he was squeezing both teams, and effectively knocked Josh Johnson out of the game after the sixth) six walks to the Marlins’ two.

88 thoughts on “Marlins 6, Braves 3”

  1. McCann was tossed after Cox. It was between innings–they showed a replay on tv.

    edit–same bottom line but it makes the initial stroll over to the dugout look even more like he was baiting the braves

  2. Hohn didn’t make any sense. He called time to essentially bring Bobby out of the dugout. Then, after a minute’s discussion, began pulling out the lineup cards…what in the hell was he doing? I don’t know.

    Then Bobby got tossed.

    KK is way too erratic. After getting out of a jam in the 2nd inning with some great pitches…he comes out in the 3rd and walks the first guy on 4 pitches. If he’s the Japanese gateway to future talent, then okay…but if he was really just signed to this huge contract for his on-the-field performance…well, eh, I’d pass.

    To let Josh Johnson hit a damned 3-run homer to CF is just ridiculous. I don’t care if he’s 8 feet tall…and has 12 inch biceps. That is unacceptable.

    Not sure what to make of our chances at this point. Braves actually haven’t played terrible in these last two games…but a few lousy individual performances, complicated by erratic umpiring…and you get a 2-gm losing streak to the Braves-killing Fish.

  3. Eh, we can recover from this. We have done much worse and looked deader than fried chicken at several points this year. And yet we’re only 4 games out of the playoffs.

    The team is playing pretty well since the RF change and there’s plenty of time to catch the Rockies-Giants-whomever, even after tonight. I’d take our rotation over any in the National League, including the new-look Phillies. The offense has picked up. We’re in decent shape.

  4. The offense has picked up? 6 runs the last 2 games isn’t going to get it done.

  5. marc schneider

    Saying that Japanese infielders are 5’3 and 150 lbs is not racism haha. You should get off your politically correct high horse and come back down to earth. Japanese men are on average shorter and smaller than males here in America, not to mention the huge difference in size compared to major league hitters and professional hitters in Japan. It has nothing to do with Racism, unbelievable that you even brought that up, who are you the Rev. Al Sharpton? Everything is racism now? The point is Kawakami either has no control over his pitches at times, or he doesn’t understand that you can’t throw major league hitters meatballs down the plate. Maybe that works in Japan where most of the hitters are (smaller, and not as powerful, again not a racist statement just the truth.) while MLB hitters are roided up and can hit the ball a mile.

  6. @7, Yes, looking at more than just the past two games, the offense has picked up since just before the All-Star Break.

  7. The umpire was atrocious. He should be fired after his showboating tonight. Plus he has a douchey mustache and sweat out of the seat of his pants.

  8. Mac wasnt tossed until the top of the ninth and in between innings. They did show the replay and Mac was following up the 1st base line yelling in his ear

  9. The first game ninth inning nightmare was unexpected. Tonight was no surprise. Add a three run bomb given up to the opposing pitcher who just happens to be Josh Johnson and we can expect to get beat.

    Blaming Bill Hohn solves nothing because he isn’t the reason this team is on the bubble. Bobby Cox is.

  10. Shrug. Those are two of the best pitchers in the NL that just reemed us. I’d like to have seen some more runs scored against a less-than-elite bullpen, but no problem. Tomorrow, however, has almost become must-win (or as “must-win” as any baseball game in July ever is).

  11. B-mac said on Braves Live (which I never watch but wanted to check out in case they talked about the umpire incident, which they did for half an hour), that all he did was ask Hohn between innings, “Hey, can you at least admit to me that you missed it?” According to Mac, the ump immediately got defensive and tossed him.

    They also showed a fascinating clip…right after McLouth’s strikeout to end the game, Hohn and the Marlins’ catcher fist-bumped, and they showed it. It was obvious. Chipper was hanging on the dugout looking pissed, and they guessed that might have been why.

    Not that any of this explains the loss or makes you feel better, but it’s at least details. Bobby wouldn’t comment.

  12. #16- wait, what? The Marlins’ catcher and the home plate umpire fist-bumped? Anyone have a link? That’s got to result in some sort of discipline for that ump, right?

  13. desert, that site is great, I thought I had too much time on my hands!

    also, the site you asked about the contracts is called Cots, its unofficial, and the spreadsheet had a couple typos, but the main page is pretty detailed, has every team.

    A real LF and this team is winning the WC, but we are still well in it and were going to have a rough series after the awesome stretch we had. Just wish it wasnt against the fish

  14. Hohn is also leading “balk a day” Bob Davison on the ejections this year. That is hard to do as a Pete Van Wieren Diamond note about 3 years ago pointed out his commanding lead in active career ejections despite lower service time than a lot of guys.

  15. Hohn also happens to have an accuracy rate of 20% (correct calls/ all calls) on ejections this year.

    And…

    Hohn rhymes with Wrong!

    Ba dum cha…!

  16. The world would be a better place if Bill Hohn went John McSherry on us. That is all.

  17. 24—It doesn’t happen often, barry, but we’ve found something else on which to agree!

  18. It was the Braves vs Florida. Maybe Hohn was just possessed by the ghost of Eric Gregg? I wonder if anybody in Selig’s office even cares about the (lack of) quality of baseball umpiring.

    If Kenshin doesn’t stop walking everybody in sight, he’s going to earn himself a trip to the bullpen when Hudson is ready.

  19. incompetant pricks with job security are the bane of our society.

    I’d rather have job security than be an incompetent prick, but if I were an incompetent prick, I’d sure want to make sure I had job security.

    Also, you know that if David Stern doesn’t care about NBA refereeing after a ref was caught taking money from the mob, then I think we can all safely assume that Bud Selig REALLY doesn’t care about MLB umpiring.

  20. When I watch KK pitch, he looks as if he doubts if his stuff can get MLB hitters out. I have a feeling Josh Johnson probably feels the same way after depositing one of his fastballs 400+ feet on a line.

  21. I have been a KK backer, but my support is starting to wane.
    He is a guy that needs a fake injury and some time in AAA to work on his command.
    He is so erratic it is amazing, When he throws a pitch is is either great, or horrible, not a lot of borderline stuff.

    Could the different ball size be affecting him that much?

  22. Bmac better learn to start hitting to LF a little or this shift thing is going to get pretty common

  23. @17, 32

    Yeah, they showed it twice. Once at regular speed, which you had to be looking for to notice, and once slowed down and zoomed in. Strikeout, turn, bump. Haven’t seen any other footage of it yet but googling “Bill Hohn fist bump” returns some hits.

  24. I told you guys a long time ago Wren jumped the gun on KK .. way too much money for a pitcher with so many question’s … he had piched in a 6 man rotation in Japan .. wasnt sure about the less days rest .. I had heard there were differences in balls too .. but when we odnt get Burnett .. I think Wren panikced and got KK and Lowe .. would have loved to save that money for another RH bat ..

  25. Kawakami is giving us 5.5 innings per start and posting an ERA+ of 95. He’s performing like a solid #4, and that’s what he’s being paid like. He’s not great, but he’s hardly some huge cause for concern.

  26. #28…….i dont want or have a job and i may be a prick, but i’m very competant at it.

  27. McCann just needs to start being more consistent. Our clean-up hitter going 0-8 in two big games is not a winning formula.

    Garrett Anderson is batting .302. I knew he was going to have a good 2nd half, but this is more than even I expected.

  28. #20

    Can’t really ask for more from Anderson so not really sure what you mean by a real LF.

    He’s not the problem and hasn’t been for quite some time.

    Not good in the field obviously but not many LFs are.

  29. 39

    McCann should not be hitting cleanup. No one on this team is qualified to hit cleanup………which is reason one the lineup sucks, but I agree with your point, McCanns 0-8 is coming at an untimely time.

    This team is mediocre that is all there is to it. They look great for a while, then they stink for a stretch. They have done it all year, nothing has changed. They are not and have never been a contender. They should sell at the deadline and make a run at 2011.

  30. Dusty, i just mean someone who is not a stopgap, we need power form that spot.
    Anderson has been great for what he is, but our team is not going to win championships with guys like him starting.
    We need someone in the OF to hit 30 HR’s.
    Nate is set and was a good pickup, Church is not Frenchy, but he is no long-term solution either.
    And Anderson is a horrible outfielder.

  31. Gosh, Brian’s 18th in the league in slugging percentage. I mean, that’s not great for your top power hitter, but it doesn’t mean he’s manifestly unqualified for the cleanup role. Half the league does worse.

  32. Thank god we have journalists brave enough to help anonymous attorneys violate both the the law and the ethics of their profession. I know I’ll sleep more soundly tonight.

    sorry, I am just really cranky about this. Feel free to ignore me, and I am not impugning any of the fine writers who visit this forum.

  33. @43 If Chipper and McCann do their jobs, then what Anderson is doing would suit this line-up just fine.

    Church is no Frenchy, but he hasn’t shown to be much of anything.

    1st base is the killer.

    The more I think about, it is unfair for McCann to have the burden of batting clean-up.

    Manny and Big Papi tested positive in 2003. Haha….

  34. They are going to have to suspend Garza now, which is a shame. Another reason to hate the DH rule.

  35. If we’ve seriously reached the point where we are complaining about Brian McCann batting cleanup, then our expectations are just way out of whack. We aren’t living in the ’90s where Ted Turner allowed John Shuerholz to sign whatever 30 HR guy he wanted anymore. The only way the Braves are getting another 30 HR bat for clean up is if they develop it from their own farm system.

  36. @54 That’s why Francouer’s troubles really hurt this franchise. He was suppose to be that guy.

  37. yup, the RF hole has been a problem for 2+ years.
    I hope there is a remedy for it next year.

    Even if we get a speedy CF/leadoff type and move Nate to RF and platoon LF we will be much better off.

    Then Kotchman has to become Mark Grace II or be replaced.

    Frank, please sign Soriano and/or Gonzo or trade one of them for a good long term piece of this puzzle.

  38. Does it even matter who is alleged to be on what list anymore? Some witch-burner just needs to drop a dime on Player X, and can count on both publicity and public opinion to follow.

  39. I changed my mind, I hope Chipper is on the list. I’ll feel cheated if I cheered for him all these years, and he wasn’t giving us his maximum possible production.

  40. Javy’s 2003 season always seemed a little too good to be true.

    When I heard about “The List,” he was the first Brave I thought of.

  41. Once again, yes, we’re four games out of a playoff spot. We are doomed. Sell the team and play for not this year, not next year, but TWO YEARS FROM NOW. Brilliant armchair GMing, that.

  42. @63

    I agree. We are situated very well to make a run in 2011. I’ve been saying that all year, before the season even began.

  43. Also, I have a journalism degree and I’m a law student so I really have no idea how either side in these “leaks” are sleeping well at night.

    Really I think the dam should just burst already. This name by name nonsense is just dragging the process out.

  44. 30games ago I was either ready to throw in the towel in disgust r making playoff plans depending on the outcome of the game that day. Now, I’ve decided to take a more relaxed approach and not panic or celebrate until August the 3rd.

    (Or maybe even later than that…)

  45. @67 My approach as well. I just hope we don’t have a KJ dropped pop-up to cinch a no playoff like last year.

    @62 I would bet my best friend’s car Javy was on something. His decline was too severe.

    The Mets beat the Rockies again. The Braves need to watch their rear.

  46. I’m really getting tired of these rogue umpires. Someone really needs to put together a central resource for documenting all these instances of umpires gone wild. They are destroying the game with this ridiculousness.

  47. Does Big & Rich do “LOAD UP THE BASES!11 FIRE UP THE CROWD!!!”? If they don’t, my poll vote is for whoever is responsible for it.

  48. I’d like to congratulate the following:

    St Louis Cardinals, 2004 World Series Champions
    Colorado Rockies, 2007 World Series Champions

  49. @74 Todd Helton played for the Rockies in 2007. So we have no World Series champs for 2007.

    @74. Everyone watches the scoreboard this time of year. Give me a break.

  50. yup, the RF hole has been a problem for 2+ years.
    I hope there is a remedy for it next year.

    Some no-name kid is hitting 438/517/753 in his first 20 games at Mississippi.

  51. It could be him Sam, but I hate to plug him in the 4 hole as a rookie.

    The kid is unreal though and it is possible he is the eone.

  52. I am referring to stupup, who has now said two days in a row that we should sell and build for 2011. If you think 2011 is the year when we will officially be a serious contender, that’s fine. I don’t necessarily disagree even. What I have a problem with is saying we should sell this year, when we’re four games out of a playoff spot with two months to go, and not try to win next year either. You try to win every single year. If not, you shouldn’t be involved in sports. Even though the Rockies only won the National League pennant in ’07 and not the World Series, Daniel’s point at 74 is pretty much all that needs to be said. You do not need to be one of the two or so best teams on paper to win the World Series. To just toss away potential chances because we’re “clearly not good enough to do anything”, never mind that we’re shouting distance from a playoff spot, is non-sensical at best, and majorly injurious to the franchise at worst.

  53. Sam hit it. Right field just doesn’t look like a problem for much longer.

    I wonder what is the MLE for a Southern League 1200 OPS? About 1000 or so, probably.

    And with more than twice as many walks as strikeouts and 300 points of ISO, it is not just “hit lucky”. That is “squaring it up and driving it hard.”

  54. I don’t see the big deal in calling up Heyward this September. I’m pretty sure it would mean a big deal to Heyward. Plus being a call up didn’t hurt Andruw Jones when he was 19 or BJ Upton just to name a couple.

  55. I don’t know why people have a problem with McCann in the 4 hole. The only drag on McCann’s offensive game is lack of speed. IF you have similar OPS guys that are faster, you can drop him down.

    I could see Diaz or Escobar in 4 hole against lefties (and their “against lefties” OPS are good) and move McCann down a spot (or replace him with Ross).

    I remember Bench hitting 4 for the Big Red Machine for a long time and he was sure good. I doubt Yogi or Campy lacked 4 hitter skills (odn’t remember if they batted 4) because they caught.

    And the greatest 4 hitter type of all time batted 3 in front of somebody better suited for 3 and it didn’t seem to hurt either one of them or their team (#3 Ruth and #4 Gehrig)

  56. I’m a dinosaur when it comes to instant replay. I hate it in football (college football especially). Does no one even acknowledge “momentum” as an important part of the game?

    You would think as many times as my sainted Wildcats have been rump-ranged in Sanford Stadium, I’d be an advocate. But no.

    I hate H-A-T-E instant replay.

    Having said all that, last night’s experience with the umpire-cum-porn-star-wannabe has me convinced that MLB needs to institute a perfected K-Zone for calling balls and strikes. Enough of this bullshit!

  57. @74 – Shouldn’t you wait for the entire list before declaring one club “pure”?

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