Kawakami’s strong outing doesn’t yield win

At least he didn’t lose.

Kenshin Kawakami pitched 6-2/3 innings, allowing just four hits, against Pittsburgh Sunday but came away with a no-decision in the Braves’ 5-2 win.

Kawakami, who is 0-7 with a 4.66 ERA in 10 starts this season, allowed two earned runs in the seventh inning before leaving. After a walk to Garrett Jones, Jeff Clement ripped a two-seam fastball over the centerfield fence. The Braves scored three in the eighth for the win.

“The win for the team is more important than my win,” Kawakami said through a translator. “Giving up that two-run home run was difficult for me but at the same time the team won and I’m happy about that.”

In his past three starts, Kawakami has allowed five earned runs and 16 hits in 18-2/3 innings. He has been a victim of poor run support all season. Before Sunday’s game, Kawakami had 2.7 runs of support per nine innings, third worst in the National League. By contrast, teammate Derek Lowe, who is 7-4, had 6.9 runs of support per nine innings, sixth best in the NL.

“He had only given up [three] hits going into that inning,” Braves manager Bobby Cox said. “He did a great job and held us there. I wish we would have gotten him five or six runs during the course of that ball game.”

Had he lost Sunday, Kawakami would have been the first pitcher in Braves history to start 0-8 with all decisions as a starter.

“He deserved to win,” Chipper Jones said. “We are trying like heck to get him a ‘W’”.

Cox said he spoke to Kawakami twice following his outing. “He gave me compliments and I’m happy about that,” the right-hander said.

Kawakami got his second hit of the season – and third of his major-league career – with a ground-rule double in the sixth inning.

“I just tried to swing out of my shoes and it somehow found the bat,” Kawakami said.

13 comments Add your comment

bigboi

May 30th, 2010
5:57 pm

Yesssss First!!!!!!

bigboi

May 30th, 2010
5:57 pm

bigboi

May 30th, 2010
5:58 pm

Don’t look now, but the Melk Man is a coming!!!!!!!

JohnSmith

May 30th, 2010
6:16 pm

I’ll admit, I’m not a big KK fan, but this guy pitches his heart out. Anyone who compares past pitching failures like Albie Lopez or Dan Kolb to Kawakami is way off base. This man accepts responsibility, but doesn’t have the defeatist attitude of a pitcher with an 0-7 record. It’s hard not to root for a guy who gives his team a chance to win every time out.

is30303

May 30th, 2010
6:39 pm

KK stats update:

KK’s run support season: 2, 0, 2, 0, 2, 3, 0, 4, 2 and 2.

He gave up 5 runs once, and besides that it has been 2,4,3,4,3,3,0, and 2 today.

I don’t really care if he wins a game as long as people quit bashing this guy and we keep winning.

GovClintonTyree

May 30th, 2010
7:12 pm

Even when he was bad, he wasn’t awful, and he’s been good the last three outings.

Dawgdad (The Original)

May 30th, 2010
7:57 pm

Congrats to Kawakami, he has pitched real well the last several starts and deserved to win today as well as the game that Wags blew for him about two starts ago. Braves are blessed with a wealth of staring pitching. Don’t see how they send Medlen back to bullpen when JJ returns, going to be interesting. Someone is going to get their feelings hurt after doing a good job as a starter adn being told to move to pen.

Reid Adair

May 30th, 2010
8:07 pm

When you add this year’s record and stats to last year’s for Kenshin Kawakami, one really has to wonder why he’s still in the rotation. My hope is that when Jair Jurrjens returns from the disabled list, Medlen stays in the rotation and Kawakami is out.

Hunter

May 30th, 2010
8:20 pm

What do you all think about Wins and Losses as stats? There’s a new article on BR about it, using Braves players as examples. Check it out here:

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/398961-quick-thoughts-on-wins-as-a-statistic

nucleophile

May 30th, 2010
8:28 pm

Derek Lowe should just pitch against the Pirates or write blog entries about drug development for his “In the Pipeline” blog. Lowe is no-longer good at pitching, just blogging. Kenshin, of course, is better despite being 0-7!

skip

May 31st, 2010
9:03 am

Once again Bobby Cox mishandles his pitcher. If KK had been taken out after six strong innings, he would in all probability be celebrating his first win.

Greg

May 31st, 2010
11:05 am

Crappy luck with that bs strike 3/foul ball call, everything went downhill from there.

chem

May 31st, 2010
11:59 am

Anyone advocating sending Kawakami to the bullpen over Lowe is just plain ignorant. Check out the stats. KK has a lower ERA (4.66 v 4.86) more quality starts (5 v. 4) and far fewer baserunners allowed (74 v 92). It’s not KK’s fault the team takes a day off every time he pitches. This has been going on since last year, and I’m beginning to wonder if it’s on purpose.

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