Wow, so much to talk about in this game. Unfortunately, none of the events that transpired were good news for the Braves.
I guess we can start with the “Carlos Gomez acting like a raving psycho” incident. Gomez was the second batter of the game and got things started early for the Brew Crew with a home run off of Braves starter Paul Maholm. This is when things got interesting.
Gomez stood and stared at Paul Maholm as the ball was sailing over the fence and proceeded to yell at Maholm on his way to first base. I have honestly never seen anything like this before. He was screaming and yelling at Maholm on his way down to first base, and giving him the crazy eyes to go with it. By the time he rounded first base, Freddie Freeman began to defend his pitcher by saying something back to Gomez, then Gomez started in on him too. Gomez was yelling and screaming and pointing like a madman all the way around the bases, and almost missed third base because he was too busy talking smack.
All of that ended when Gomez rounded third and was about 15-20 feet from home plate. Braves catcher and team leader Brian McCann was standing right in the baseline, stopping Gomez from making it to home plate. They got up in each other’s faces and the benches cleared. Freddie Freeman was in there almost immediately trying to get at Gomez, but there were already dozens of people in between them. Reed Johnson actually made it to Gomez and gave him a shove, but that is all that really happened other than yelling and light pushing. Apparently, umpire Dana DeMuth saw things differently and ejected Freddie Freeman for “being overaggressive” and throwing an elbow. Freeman did seem to catch Aramis Ramirez with an elbow, but it looked more unintentional than anything. He basically kinda brushed into Ramirez on his way to Gomez, which was incidental contact in my view. After all was said and done, Gomez, Freeman and Gerald Laird were ejected from the game. Laird was ejected for arguing after the scrum.
Unfortunately, Freeman’s elbow was the only hard hit the Braves had all game. Kyle Lohse tossed a complete game, 2-hit shutout as the Braves recent offensive woes continued. The Braves were shut out for the 17th time this season, and the 4th time in 6 games against the Brewers. All they managed was a bunt single from Andrelton Simmons and a solid single from Evan Gattis. Lohse struck out 5, didn’t walk anyone, and threw only 89 pitches. He retired 20 straight hitters between the Simmons and Gattis hits.
Maholm didn’t pitch too poorly, going 7 innings and giving up 3 runs on 8 hits. He struck out 7 and didn’t walk anyone. Of course, it is tough to win when you offense doesn’t help you at all.
The loss dropped the Braves a half-game behind the Cardinals for the best record in the National League and home field advantage in the playoffs. The Braves need to, at least, finish in a tie with the Cardinals since they have the tiebreaker via winning 4 of 7 against the Cards this season.
If nothing else, the 2014 season opener against the Brewers got just a lot more interesting.