Jonny Venters has been suspended four games and Bobby Cox one game for hitting Prince Fielder Saturday night with a pitch. Venter’s first pitch sailed over Fielder’s head which led to a warning and his second back hit Fielder between the numbers on the back. This was after Fielder was also hit on Thursday night following a game tying home run from Ryan Braun. It looked intentional, Cox says it wasn’t:
"“And we didn’t hit him tonight intentionally at all. And that is the truth.”"
"“just a couple of pitches that got away from me.”"
While I didn’t have a problem with the ejection on Saturday night the suspension seems a little long and harsh. Especially after two Braves were hit on Sunday without as much of a warning or ejection happening.
Cox met on the field with Ken Macha before the game in what was a “clearing the air” gesture before Sunday’s series finale. Macha had called for a league review after Saturday night’s beaning of Fielder. The gesture seemed to have little effect on the Brewers as both Jason Heyward and Troy Glaus were hit by pitches on Sunday. Cox had this to say about that:
"“[Barry] said he didn’t think he threw at him,”"
He didn’t think he threw at him? I admit that this has to be one of the hardest jobs for an umpire out there but you have had a series full of bean balls and two Braves are hit on Sunday after a Brewers batter was hit on Saturday night and we are supposed to believe that it wasn’t intentional. A warning at the very least should have been issued. I am not sure with MLB policy as to whether fines are announced but the Brewers’ Manny Parra and David Riske should have been fined for their actions on Sunday.
At any rate the Braves will be without one of their top left handed relievers for the next four games.