Braves Rewind: Kimbrel issues apology

Braves 7,

Mets 5

Late Saturday

How the game was won

Justin Upton hit a three-run home run in the ninth inning and Jordan Walden got the final out after Craig Kimbrel gave up two runs in the ninth inning to win the series at Citi Field in New York on Saturday night. It was their seventh victory in eight games.

Braves highlight

Ervin Santana pitched seven innings and allowed one run. Freddie Freeman and Upton had three hits apiece and four RBIs between them.

Braves lowlight

The bullpen. When manager Fredi Gonzalez lifted Kimbrel with the bases loaded and the winning run at first base, Kimbrel expressed his unhappiness with the decision to lift him as he left the field of of play. Lost in the Kimbrel unhappiness was another bad outing by David Carpenter, who allowed two runs in the eighth and was hit hard.

Quoting them

“That was pretty bad. I was all over the place. I couldn’t get the curveball over at first. Just throwing fastballs over the plate, and when you do that it makes for a tough inning.” — Kimbrel

“I’m a competitor, and any time you get taken out obviously you get upset about it. And I did. I probably shouldn’t have acted like I did. It’s just one of those things, he (Gonzalez) is trying to protect me from throwing too many pitches. We still got the win, so that’s awesome. I just went in and apologized to him. I mean, that’s disrespectful to him and to the team, and it’s just not the kind of person that I am, and I felt awful about it. So I wanted to make sure (he knew) that was just my competitiveness.” —Kimbrel

“He came in here and we talked a little bit. He’s fine. Like all good athletes, they’re competitors, they want the ball. You’ve got to pry it out of their hands. He was terrific after (the game).” —Gonzalez


Gonzalez said he and pitching coach Roger McDowell had discussed a 23-25 pitch limit for Kimbrel in his first outing back after not pitching since the previous Saturday. Kimbrel hadn’t been told of that limit, but afterward said he understood…. Braves starters have a major league-leading 1.46 ERA and 14 quality starts. Santana (2-0) has an 0.86 ERA in his first three starts, including 2-0 with a 0.60 ERA in two against the Mets. In three career starts against them, including one last season for Kansas City, he’s 3-0 with a 0.86 ERA…. Freeman had three hits against Bartolo Colon (1-3) and has hit .350 with 12 doubles, 12 home runs and 41 RBIs in his past 40 games against the Mets. He has career-best totals of 18 doubles, 13 homers and 49 RBIs in 58 games against the Mets.