Game 46: Freese miffed by quick hook from Cuzzi


Story and video by Rob Biertempfel/Photo by Getty ImaHurdleTossedCuzziges

ATLANTA — David Freese, who was ejected last night by umpire Phil Cuzzi,  was unhappy about getting what he thought was a quick hook. Freese got some support via Twitter from a former Braves standout. “Chipper Jones had a nice tweet about it,” Freese said. “That’s how I feel.”

In his first at-bat, Freese was called out on a checked-swing. Those calls can sometimes be subjective and thus open to debate, but Freese did not dispute that strikeout. In his second at-bat, Freese was called out on a pitch that appeared to be outside the zone — which Freese said he confirmed by watching the pitch again on video.Freese chirped about it from the dugout and was tossed.

“I mean, c’mon. I don’t thing he should ring me for what I said,” Freese said. “Me and Phil have a good relationship. And I’m not a rookie. I think I deserve a little warning or something. But, bad call, I yelled and I got tossed. I’m glad Clint (Hurdle) stood up for the situation.”

As Hurdle went onto the field, Cuzzi turned and said, “You know better than that.” Hurdle repeated yelled,”So what?” as he tried to stay between Cuzzi and Freese, who had stormed back onto the field with a bit of fire in his eyes. Freese eventually was gently nudged back to the dugout by Francisco Cervelli and Hurdle was tossed, too. 

>>> Atlanta’s bullpen has not allowed a hit in 15.1 innings, which is the longest streak in franchise history since at least 1974, according to STATS. The run began on May 18 during the seventh inning against the Blue Jays — RHP Josh Commenter allowed a leadoff single, then retired the next three batters to trigger an 0-for-49 stretch by opposing batters.

>>> Gerrit Cole is 1-4 over his past seven starts. That sounds bad, but is it really? His ERA in that span is 2.62 (13 earned runs in 44.2 innings).

>>> Brandon Phillips is not a favorite of Pirates fans, but you’ve got to give him his props. Last night, he drove a 2-1 pitch from Cole out to left-center field for his 200th career homer. Phillips is the 48th player (and the sixth second baseman) in MLB history to hit 200 home runs and steal 200 bases. Of the second basemen who’ve done it, four — Joe Morgan, Roberto Alomar, Ryne Sandberg and Craig Biggio — are in the Hall of Fame. Ian Kinsler, who also has reached that milestone, is still active.

>>> UPDATES 5:05 p.m. – Jameson Taillon (testicular cancer) was cleared to throw a bullpen, so he made 25 tosses (using all of his pitches) off the slope this afternoon. “All the reports are very positive,” athletic trainer Todd Tomczyk said. … Gregory Polanco (hamstring) hit in the indoor batting cage earlier today and took his bat with him out to the field for BP. Wednesday is a big day for Polanco — running the bases at full speed could be the final hurdle before he comes off the DL . Hurdle this afternoon said it hasn’t yet been decided whether Polanco will go on a minor league rehab assignment. He’s eligible to come off the DL on Thursday.

>>> Yinz want links? I’ve got links:

Braves 5, Pirates 2: A lot of early departures on a wet, grey night.

Notebook: In which Sean Rodriguez works his way back, Hurdle takes a stroll and Indy claims two awards.

>>> Tuesday: Pirates at Braves, 7:35 p.m. SunTrust Park, Atlanta. TV: Root. Radio: 93.7 FM

Pirates (20-25): Adam Frazier 7, Josh Harrison 5, Andrew McCutchen 8, Josh Bell 3, Francisco Cervelli 2, John Jaso 9, Alen Hanson 4, Jordy Mercer 6, RHP Tyler Glasnow (2-3, 7.34) 1

Braves (19-23): Ender Inciarte 8, Brandon Phillips 4, Nick Markakis 9, Matt Kemp 7, Matt Adams 3, Kurt Suzuki 2, Rio Ruiz 5, Dansby Swanson 6, RHP R.A. Dickey (3-3, 4.13) 1

Gamecast: Glasnow has never faced the Braves. … Glasnow threw 87 pitches when he worked 5.0 IP on Thursday when the beat the Nationals. To start going deeper into games on a regular basis, he needs to cut down his walk rate (6.3 BB/9). … The Braves traded for Slippery Rock product Matt Adams to replace 1B Freddy Freeman, who’s expected to be out 10 weeks with a broken wrist. Freeman was leading the NL with 14 homers and ranked second in extra-base hits (26), OBP (.461) and slugging percentage (.748). … Dickey is 3-3 with a 2.76 ERA in nine career outings (eight starts) vs. the Pirates. On April 8, he gave up six runs (four earned) on nine hits in 5.2 IP in a 6-4 loss at PNC Park.

>>> Wednesday: Pirates at Braves, 7:35 p.m. SunTrust Park, Atlanta. TV: Root. Radio: 93.7 FM

Pirates: RHP Trevor Williams (2-3, 6.04) Braves: RHP R.A. Dickey (3-3, 4.13)

>>> Thursday: Pirates at Braves, 12:10 p.m. SunTrust Park, Atlanta. TV: Root. Radio: 93.7 FM

Pirates: RHP Ivan Nova (4-3, 2.63) Braves: RHP Bartolo Colón (2-4, 6.28)

Rob Biertempfel is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.