Brewers OF Carlos Gomez and Braves OF Reed Johnson have both been suspended one game by MLB for their roles in Wednesday night’s brawl in the first inning at Turner Field (see post “Braves, Brewers Brawl Over Blast” for more).
I’m not sure if the suspension of Gomez is right. He did start the chaos, but he was suspended for the final 8 1/2 innings of the game. A hefty fine would have probably been sufficient. Then again, if he wanted to get back at Paul Maholm for being hit by a pitch earlier in the season, the home run should have said enough; it did put the Brewers ahead in the game.
Johnson’s suspension makes up for him not being ejected after the brawl. Johnson appeared to try pushing Gomez to the ground, and aimed the shoving around the head/neck area. For a player off the bench who wasn’t even involved in the on-field incident to become so violent and get involved, a one-game suspension is appropriate, and may actually be too lax.
Brian McCann and Freddie Freeman of the Braves were both fined undisclosed amounts. Freeman was ejected from the game for telling Gomez to run the bases; unless the fine is minimal, enough has already been done. As for McCann, he should have either been ejected and missed 8 1/2 innings of last night’s game, or been suspended one game and missed tonight’s 9 innings. He yelled at Gomez immediately after the home run as he stood and admired it, before blocking the plate when Gomez came around to score. That started the bench-clearing portion of this incident.
Fortunately, the Brewers-Braves series concluded last night with Kyle Lohse’s two-hit shutout of the Braves. The Phillies are now in Atlanta for a four-game series to finish the regular season, while the Brewers head to New York to play the Mets.