UPDATE: St. Louis placed Berkman on the disabled list with right knee inflammation.
Lance Berkman tweaked his surgically repaired right knee in his final at-bat last night and Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that the 36-year-old first baseman “had the knee heavily wrapped with ice after the game” and will be examined by team doctors today.
Berkman had knee surgery two months ago and returned from the disabled list in mid-July, going 6-for-33 (.182) with one homer in 15 games since.
Berkman told Langosch that last night wasn’t the first time on the Cardinals’ road trip that his knee has been sore, saying: “It’s just not a perfect knee. I’ve been scanned, zapped more than most players, probably, in that particular part of the body. I’ll let the doctor look at it and see what he thinks.”
Even before last night Cardinals manager Mike Matheny was planning to limit Berkman’s playing time, in part to keep him healthy and in part to find regular playing time for, among others, Allen Craig.
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.