Kawakami has at least been as effective as Lowe

When Derek Lowe was drawing significant run support and Kenshin Kawakami couldn’t buy a win during the early portion of the season, it was easy to argue that Kawakami had actually been more effective during his starts. 

Now that Lowe is sidelined with discomfort behind his right elbow, I’ve heard many people ask what can the Braves expect out of Kawakami while he fills in for the injured sinkerballer. 

The simple answer is, “basically the same thing that they could expect from Lowe.” It’s been a flip of the coin whenever either of these two hurlers have taken the mound this year. 

In the 15 starts he made before being sent to the bullpen and then Triple-A Gwinnett, Kawakami was 1-9 with a 4.48 ERA.  Opponents hit .271 against him and compiled a .326 on-base percentage.

In the 15 starts Lowe had made before his right arm was essentially “worthless” (stole that description from Lowe),  he was 3-8 with a 4.25 ERA.  Opponents hit .271 and compiled a .336 on-base percentage during this span.

Before being sent to the bullpen, Kawakami was showing occasional signs of improvement.  He allowed three earned runs or fewer in eight of his last 11 starts.  

During Kawakami’s last eight starts, he went 1-3 with a 3.40 ERA.  Opponents hit .254 against him and reached base at a .313 clip. 

In the eight starts Lowe made before his hand went numb Sunday, he was 2-4 with a 4.27 ERA.  Opponents hit .286 during this stretch and compiled a .330 on-base percentage. 

So even while throwing out the five earned runs that Lowe allowed in three innings against the Marlins last Sunday, it’s apparent that you can still argue that Kawakami has been the more effective payroll eyesore this year. 

There’s little reason to be encouraged about the fact that Kawakami allowed 26 hits, including five homers, in the 21 innings that he completed for Triple-A Gwinnett in August. 

But since I provided some generosity when accounting for Lowe’s numbers, I figure I should provide the reminder that he had been essentially idle for six weeks before heading to the Minors to stretch out his arm and develop a secondary pitch (slider) that he can throw for strikes.

Kawakami didn’t begin throwing this slider until the final week of June.  Thus it might not be smart for him to test it against Dan Uggla, who has four hits, including a homer and a double, in nine at-bats against the Japanese right-hander.

I also wouldn’t suggest Kawakami doing anything to infuriate Gaby Sanchez.  The Marlins first baseman is in the lineup tonight.  Thus I’m going to have to assume he has appealed the the three-game suspension in response to the Bill Goldberg clothesline that he delivered to Nyjer Morgan Wednesday night.

When the Braves pounded Ricky Nolasco for six runs in just two innings Saturday, it was apparent that something might not be right.  The Marlins right-hander had notched a 16-strikeout performance and an  11-strikeout performance in two of his three previous starts against Atlanta.  

With Nolasco sidelined by a torn meniscus in his right knee, the Marlins will send Andrew Miller to the mound for tonight’s series opener.  The once highly-regarded left-hander will be making just his second Major League start this season.  He went 1-8 with a 6.01 ERA in 18 starts with Double-A Jacksonville this year. 

Add the one win Miller notched for Class A-Advanced Jupiter and we now at least have three combined wins between tonight’s starting pitchers.  The Braves and Marlins might light up the scoreboard like the University of Miami did last night on this severely damaged turf. 

Wait until you see the dead grass (especially behind second base) on television tonight.  You’ll see what I’m talking about.

 
   

42 Comments

I see. Pick our poison. Would we rather be paraplegic, or just paralyzed from the waist down?

Well only time will tell if Kawakami”s stay in minors has helped. I’d say about the third pitch of the game. Good luck I myself have very little confindence in Kawa, but I hope he proves me very wrong.

Not too optimistic tonight. I caught KK’s last start at Gwinnett, and the G-Braves survived his 5 innings to come back and win the game.

I am pulling for him though. GO BRAVES.

One batter, one walk, lots of nibbling. Get aggressive, or get off the mound KK.

We won’t survive this. Japanese Meat Balls.

Yep…just as bad as he was in Gwinnett.

He better get pinch hit for when his spot comes around…if we ever get to hit again tonight.

“Good” to see Kantwinagami and Derrek Lee holding true to my expectations.

Man, Derek is not looking good at the plate. He’s playing like a big wounded goose.

Come on Bobby, go get him for chrissakes.

So, at what point do we just eat the rest of Kawakami’s contract and release him? I couldn’t care less if hurts our chances at bringing in new Japanese players. He’s awful.

Mark, you were right. I cant tell the difference between this outing and any of Lowe’s. Where’s Christian Martinez when you need him?

Well may as well eat this game. Put it away forever. Braves may still comeback if they get Kawaneverwin out of there.

5 we can get, but one more inning of this and it is a guaranteed loss. We do not have any freebees to give the Phillies. KK has to be released in the off season. One year isn’t that bad to eat. One more inning isn’t worth the risk. The more KK throws, the more golf these guys are going to be playing in October.

Actually this was the exact score when he left the last game in Gwinnett. Those guys came back and won. Maybe these guys can too.

Oops, my bad. Bobby just threw gas on the fire by bringing in Scott Proctopus. They call him that because his ERA was approaching 8.

Actually this was the exact score when he left the last game in Gwinnett. Those guys came back and won. Maybe these guys can too.

Oops, my bad. Bobby just threw gas on the fire by bringing in Scott Proctopus. They call him that because his ERA was approaching 8.

I know this won’t happen, but I wish that Prado and Infante would switch. Martin is a better 2nd baseman. More chances there than at 3rd, and Infante seems more than adequate on the left side of the diamond (when he filled in at short.)

Heh, Proctopus. I like it. In his defense, he got screwed out of a strikeout and a runner caught stealing.

Heh, Proctopus. I like it. In his defense, he got screwed out of a strikeout and a runner caught stealing.

Welcome back to the show Kantwinatall. I knew this was going to be a bad game when I saw him on the mound. I thought the Braves might get smart enough to get him off the roster while in Gwinnett but that didn’t happen. I think he needs to get Kantwinatall onto his Kawasaki and outta town. Please break the ties with him and give us a shot at winning. 5 runs in 4 innings. What a joke, LOL.

Kantwinagamee deserves all the flack he is getting tonight. However, does it really matter if we only score 1 run and strand 30 base runners against their scrub pitcher?

Octofarnsworthopus – Good Lord, His ERA is at 8!

KK does at least have the Braves’ lone RBI tonight. However, I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing. I’m leaning toward “bad.”

Kawakami was heard to shout “Remember Hiroshima!” just bebore he imploded on the mound. Japan’s revenge.

well, it’s time for this team to show what it’s made of. We have to be able to win on the road if we want to play in October. There are some players on this team that have to figure out how bad they want to go to the postseason. They better figure it out soon.

You know its bad when Bobby can’t even find anything nice to say about KK’s showing….

Wow – 27 comments. That’s more people than show up at Braves games. You must be very proud.
Meanwhile, you’re hearing footsteps from Philadelphia.

tick tock … tick tock. Enjoy your remaining days in first place.

Pherris is SO prophetic… any one of us could have told you we would lose that game. Any game Kawakami starts is NOT safe. That’s why he’s not a starter anymore.

Forgot man, our number of comments directly reflects our dedication. And being a troll on the internet directly boosts attendance and merchandise sales.

At some point the Braves are going to have to sacrifice the defense and put Melky in Center on a continuous basis. Not sure what the deal is with Ankiel, but he has trouble making contact. Maybe he is just in a funk? Additonally, D Lee looks very similar to Glaus lately?? Is he healthy? Has he driven the ball deep once? Needless to say, the late season acquistions (including Farnsworth) need to perform better. Gonzo has been good offensively and defensively, but the other three have not. I don’t know if Glaus is heatlhy now or if Freeman is a better option, but they need to make a change if these two every day players don’t pick it up. Bill – what are Ankeil and D Lee hitting with RISP?? I know D Lee has a few RBIs, but I don’t recall any important ones. Not losing the faith – just a frustrated fan now.

All I know is, I really hope the Phellating Phil’s phans keep posting here and bashing the Braves. Because you know what? It is going to make it that much sweeter when the Braves destroy the Phillies right when they get an inkling of hope to get the division back. 2 series coming up – head to head, and I can’t wait!! Oh and I will be laughing all the harder when the Philthies’ Phaithful’s eyes widen in horror at the realization that it wasn’t going to happen after all.

“I enjoy playing,” Ross said. “Bobby just gives you a boost of confidence because I know he doesn’t put guys in there unless he trusts them, especially down the stretch like this.”

If KK even gets to put on a glove again as a Brave, this statement is not true. If there is anything to that “Honor” code we all attribute to the Japanese , KK will bow out knowing it is the right thing to do for the team.

Braves,
Cut your losses,
Cut KK now

You can’t get the money back, but you can at least get the games KK would have squandered back.

Derrek Lee is batting a ******** .214 with RISP as a Brave, Rick Ankiel totals a remarkable .136.

How did Chipper get ejected?

Didn’t like the squeeze play with Infante on deck. Give JJ a shot with the infield drawn in, and then let Omar have a shot. He leads the league in hitting for crying out loud.

That was on Ankiel anyway.

Chipper wanted to pay Bobby back and protect him from getting thrown out for arguing balls and strikes.

When Freeman played, he did hit the ball hard. How can not get a shot know? Lee can’t even put the ball in play. He has been 10 games now and he has looked horrible. Give the kid a few game… Ankiel,well???? I just dont get it. These guys are proven hitters. Ankiel is up – strike out? Stay tuned. We are in the 6th.

Dereck Lee I noticed if he gets a hit it’s only with the bases empty{ no pressure}. Ankiel swings way too hard thus striking out a lot. Prado,Omar,Heyward, Brian all are patient and wait for their pitch not the pitcher;s pitch. Cabera hits sometimes, not consistant. TP needs to leave all our hitters alone. Each player needs to find their groove and not listen to anybody.

Don’t look now bill, both of your boys are in the lineup.

I have been deeply involved with baseball all of my life . . . as a player in high school and college, as a coach, as an umpire. I am sure Kenshin Kawakami is a courteous and delightful person and was successful for years in Japan. I also know the Braves have substantial invested in him. However, if Cox and McDowell have any hope of reaching post season play and beyond, they must abandon the use of Kawakami at this stage of the season. In fact, since he was not even effective at Gwinnett, his future with the Braves should be at an end. This is unfortunate but also a reality. Go Braves!

Yes thank you daevans you echo what many already know.

I like it. In his defense, he got screwed out of a strikeout and a runner caught stealing.
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