MLB

Nationals pitcher Sean Nolin suspended five games for plunking Braves’ Freddie Freeman

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Major League Baseball announced on Friday that it had fined and suspended Washington Nationals left-hander Sean Nolin for intentionally hitting Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman in the first inning of Wednesday’s contest between the sides. The terms of Nolin’s fine are undisclosed, but he has elected to appeal the five-game suspension the league handed down.

Nationals manager Davey Martinez was also suspended (for a game) and fined an undisclosed amount. Unlike Nolin, Martinez will serve his suspension on Friday night, when the Nationals begin a series in D.C. against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Nolin, 31 years old, has appeared in five games this season for the Nationals in what has served as his first big-league action since 2015. In those outings, he’s accumulated a 5.60 ERA (74 ERA+) and a 4.00 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He is perhaps best known for being part of the trade that sent Josh Donaldson from Oakland to Toronto back in 2014.

Nolin’s ejection came in the first inning. He threw behind Freeman with his first offering, then hit him with his second. Nolin’s determination to hit Freeman stemmed from Tuesday’s game, when Braves reliever Will Smith hit Nationals slugger Juan Soto with a pitch in the ninth inning. Here’s video of the incident:

Afterward, Freeman seemed to take Nolin’s aggression in stride. “I completely understand,” he said as part of his post-game press conference. “It’s the game of baseball. I just didn’t like the fact that it was two times. You can’t do two.”

The Braves and the Nationals will not play again this season. 

The Braves, at 74-65, have a 3 1/2-game lead in the National League East over the Philadelphia Phillies. The Nationals, meanwhile, are in last place in the division with a 58-82 mark.



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