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.