The Braves are one game into a 162 game season so you can’t assume much of anything after the Opening Day loss to the Milwaukee Brewers. But the game did look eerily similar to what we were used to seeing last season when the Braves struggled. At the very least you can say that not a lot has changed.
The good news is that Julio Teheran pitched well despite not having his good stuff. His fastball was sitting consistently at 91-92, when he’s got it cranked up it is mid 90s. Nonetheless, he got ahead of hitters and only gave up two runs. Teheran was poised and looked like a seasoned veteran in front of 45,000+ hostile fans in Milwaukee.
Two of the Braves rookie relievers, Ian Thomas and Gus Schlosser, came in and pitched well. Schlosser in particular looked good, giving up no hits in 1 2/3 innings. Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell could probably take a high school pitcher and coach him up to get major league hitters out. Well maybe not, but you get the point.
Now for the bad news and there is a fair amount when you lose 2-0. Last season the Braves led the majors in getting shut out. Yesterday they showed they are fully capable of defending their title.
Yovani Gallado is a very good pitcher and when he has it going, he is hard to hit . But his career ERA is over 3.70 so hell, somebody is hitting him. The positive to draw on is that the Braves only struck out 4 times.
Dan Uggla and B.J. Upton went 0 for 8 and the sun set last night and came up again this morning, so what else is new? The talking heads on the post game show were saying that both have a better approach this season and you can tell they worked hard in the off-season. They pointed out that Uggla hit the ball hard a few times and was hard luck. $27 million invested in two guys and it has come down to moral victories.
The Nationals beat the Mets 9-7 yesterday, so the Braves are officially 1 game behind already in the NL East. Here is the million dollar question: Will they ever lead the division this season? The question sounds way premature and negative and ridiculous. But is it really? The Braves have lost 9 of their last 10 in Milwaukee and head to Washington this weekend with a depleted starting rotation. Playing from behind this season against Washington is not a good idea.
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