The Oakland Athletics came into the second game against the Cleveland Indians off the heels of an 11-1 blowout victory the previous night. Scott Kazmir took the mound against his former team hoping to keep his team hot and lead them to victory.
Well he definitely managed to heat his team up, specifically Bob Melvin. Scott Kazmir was not having a good start. Having over 40 pitches with only one out in the 2nd inning with a runner on third, Kazmir needed to throw just one more strike to get the K on a full count. His pitch appeared to have just been in the corner for a strike, but the home plate umpire thought otherwise. Instead it was called a ball, and Kazmir was visibly upset.
The umpire didn’t like Kazmir’s reaction, so he overreacted and ejected Scott Kazmir. The official reason is for arguing balls and strikes.
It is unclear what Kazmir did wrong. He had his hands on his hips, glaring over at the plate. He may have said something, but how many times do you see a batter get upset and tell the umpire something, then go back to the dugout?
Remember when the benches cleared against Detroit last season? Balfour was on the mound and was the reason it happened, but he wasn’t ejected.
I think it is absolutely ridiculous that they would eject Kazmir without warning for something players do all the time, express displeasure when they don’t like a call on a pitch.
This means the bullpen would have to pitch 7.2 innings without a true long reliever. The good news is they had an off day Thursday and have one coming up on Monday as well.
When Kazmir was ejected, Melvin came out of the dug out and was nearly ejected himself for arguing with the home plate umpire.
Kazmir may not have pitched long, but he did get his team heated up. As I write this, the Athletics scored 3 in the top of the 3rd. Dan Otero is in the game pitching, and has needed only 7 pitches to retire 5 batters.