Whenever a non-ace throws a no-hitter there are always lots of articles wondering if they’ll build off that historic performance and suddenly become a significantly better pitcher.
It’s sort of a silly notion to begin with, as if allowing zero hits as opposed to, say, two hits can drastically alter someone’s career. In the case of Philip Humber he took it one step further by throwing a perfect game on April 21 … and has been absolutely awful since.
Humber followed up his perfect game by coughing up a career-high nine runs against the Red Sox on April 26, walked six batters in a mediocre start versus the Indians on May 2, and then faced Cleveland again this afternoon.
His final line? Eight runs in 2.1 innings.
Add it all up and he’s allowed 20 runs in 13.1 innings since throwing the perfect game, with nearly as many walks (11) than strikeouts (12), five homers, and a .350 opponents’ batting average.
The Braves and Marlins have some bad blood, especially concerning Ronald Acuña Jr. Around this time last year, José Ureña intentionally threw at Acuña in the first at-bat of a game, leading to a benches-clearing incident. Acuña was hit on the elbow and exited the game but was ultimately fine. Acuña’s crime? Just being good at baseball. At the time, he had homered in five consecutive games, including three games against the Marlins.
In 2019, the first-place Braves and last-place Marlins have mostly minded their own business. The Marlins, however, can certainly keep a grudge it appears. With his first pitch in the bottom of the first inning Tuesday night in Atlanta, Marlins starter Elieser Hernández hit Acuña in the hip.
Home plate umpire Alan Porter issued warnings to both dugouts. Braves manager Brian Snitker wasn’t happy about his side having received a warning for no reason, and was ejected by first base umpire Mark Wegner. Hernández would hit Adeiny Hechavarría with a pitch in the fourth inning — seemingly unintentionally — and was not ejected. Other than that, there were no more incidents and cooler heads prevailed.
Acuña finished 1-for-4 in the Braves’ 5-1 win. Freddie Freeman hit two home runs and knocked in four runs.