ATLANTA -- As soon as Braves reliever Jose Ramirez threw a pitch over Marlins starting pitcher Jose Fernandez's head on Wednesday night at Turner Field, the only question was how significantly he would be punished.
The answer was provided on Friday afternoon, when Major League Baseball suspended Ramirez for three games and issued an undisclosed fine. The Braves right-hander will remain active until his appeal is heard on Wednesday, the day before Atlanta begins a four-game series against the Marlins in Miami.
Tempers flared and the benches emptied in the seventh inning of the Braves' 7-5 loss when Ramirez's first-pitch, 95-mph fastball sailed wide of Fernandez, who had hit Nick Markakis with a pitch during the previous half-inning. Braves starting pitcher Julio Teheran hit Martin Prado with a pitch during the top half of the sixth inning.
Given Prado has remained a beloved figure throughout the Braves' organization dating back to his playing days in Atlanta (2006-12), there was certainly reason to believe Teheran was simply battling command issues during what proved to be a four-run inning. But it certainly didn't look like anything slipped when Fernandez hit Markakis and Ramirez responded with the dangerous pitch to Fernandez.
Ramirez has long been labeled as a flamethrower who struggles with his control. But before facing Fernandez on Wednesday, the rookie reliever had registered a strike with eight of the 11 pitches thrown. He also entered the game having issued just three unintentional walks (two were issued on Sept. 6 at Nationals Park) over his past 15 1/3 innings, dating back to Aug. 16.
Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.