Mother Nature 24, Atlanta 8, Colorado 3

Atlanta traveled to Denver to face Colorado in the Rockies’ home opener. After a two+ hour snow delay, a 24 degree first pitch temparature, and the ceremonial first pitch by the corpse of Sir Ernest Shackleton, the Bravo’s bats wasted no time heating up. Ozzie Albies started the scoring with a one out solo shot in the top of the first. Freddie Freeman followed with his 314th walk of the young season as Rockies pitcher German Marquez pitched around FabFiveFreddie. That’s not the worst idea, but when you follow that with a walk to Nick Markakis, things can spiral out of control. Which they did in the most Coors Field-ish of fashions. A Kurt Suzuki bloop single in the Bermuda Triangle between short, left, and center loaded the bases. Preston Tucker cracked a line drive sac fly to center, scoring Freeman, and Dansby Swanson cleared the bases with a two out triple. Marquez intentionally walked Ryan Flaherty, and managed to retire Brandon McCarthy to end the first. Gotta love having your pitcher end the top of the first.

McCarthy issued a lead-off walk of his own in the bottom of the frame, issuing a free pass to Charlie Blackmon. After Nolan Arenado hit into a fielder’s choice, he scored on a two out Carlos Gonzalez triple. McCarthy worked the second and third without incident, but in the fourth, he got his gopherball on, allowing dingers to CarGo and Trevor Story to cut the lead to 4-3. The key was that they were solo shots, which almost everyone will give up in Colorado. Just make sure you don’t put anyone on in front of them via the base on balls, and you can recover. Which, McCarthy did, and he would go on to redeem himself in the fifth.

The Braves started the second of the decisive frames in the fifth with a two out walk to Tucker, Swanson doubled him home (his third hit of the game), and after another intentional pass to Flaherty, McCarthy doubled up the right-center gap and it was 7-3. Atlanta completed the scoring in the 6th when Freeman singled home Ozzie, who had doubled.

McCarthy became the first Atlanta starter to go 6, finishing with a flourish, as he struck out the side to end his day, after throwing 88 pitches and giving up 3 runs – which in Coors against the hitters Colorado can run out there, you’ll happily take every day of the week and twice on Sundays. The bullpen didn’t allow much drama in the 7th, 8th, and 9th, and Lt. Dans JUUUST missed the cycle when he flied out to the wall in the 7th.

Anyway, there’s a heat wave scheduled for tomorrow, with highs forecast to be about 38 whole degrees Fahrenheit. Probably a local climate change induced by the sizzling Braves’ bats. Anyway, Our Heroes are 3 over .500 for the first time since May 2015 when they were 8-5. I can get used to this.

46 thoughts on “Mother Nature 24, Atlanta 8, Colorado 3”

  1. Obviously the season is still incredibly new, but it feels great to actually seem prepared for the start of the season. Over the first 9 games of each of the last 2 seasons combined we have gone 3 and 15! A good start doesn’t guarantee a good season, but a good season seems to be aided by a good start more often than not. Let’s hope the fun continues.

  2. Thanks, Seat Painter.
    @1–I’m pretty sure a team’s record after 7 games isnt predictive of much. OTOH, I’m with you that this beats the hell out of the last couple of years.
    Our Braves at 5-2 are 2 games ahead of the Braves’ record in 1991 after 7 games. But they are 1 game behind the 7 game record in 1969 and of course they’re 2 games behind the pace of the 1982 team. Those two teams werent predicted to win, but the fast starts generated a lot of excitement.

  3. After the 1982 season Bill James wrote a piece asking what you can learn from a start like that. One of the things he pointed out is that you need to look at the run differentials before concluding much… I have no problem applying that criterion this year so far.

  4. Great read, Seat Painter.

    Dansby may have some value. Perhaps it’s just Coors Field. We’ll see.

    Go Braves.

  5. Dansby may have figured it out. Perhaps he will be the first Brave to silence his critics

  6. Newcomb + Coors Field = Me more nervous than usual about his start.

    @2 – Camargo too…obviously not ready

  7. The pen continues to be quite good. We’re about 5-deep with a strong long man as well, which we haven’t had since the rebuild started. But we either need another full inning guy or a LOOGY so Freeman can be that.

    Biddle also had a strong outing for Gwinnett: 2 IP, 0 H/R/BB, 3 K’s. Encouraging to also see the depth on the position player side: Santana, Acuna, Peterson, and Ruiz could all spend a little bit of time in the bigs if needed (or if ownership allows).

    Today it’s Wisler for Gwinnett and Wilson for Florida.

  8. So, who gets more major league wins over the next 3 years. Touki, Wisler, or Blair?

    I know it’s early, but given his season last year, my guess is Touki will never see the major leagues.

  9. Having watched Ohtani whiff badly on Santiago Casilla’s curveball offerings last night, I think you all (and the writers you’re reading) may indeed be right about him. It’ll be interesting to see if he can manage to improve versus a pitch that’s almost entirely new to him while in the majors.

  10. For a 21 year-old in AA, Touki wasn’t that bad last year. Because of his stuff, he’s more likely to turn into a quality reliever than Wisler or Blair.

  11. I understand that mlb feels obligated to give teams home games no matter how cold it is to start the year. However, can anyone explain to me why the Rockies would schedule a night game tonight? It seems crazy to me.

  12. @12 Rob, paying $7M for Touki is a better investment than $42M for Brandon McCarthy – whether he makes it or not.

    I’m just waiting to see how long it takes AA to be sufficiently knowledgeable about the Braves organization to be able to start trading the chaff and trying to acquire some additional value. He’s been on the job for six months. He must be a slow learner.

  13. $7 million for the 16th overall pick just a year after he was drafted is, as was widely reported at the time, a fleecing.

    Maybe the DBacks had reason to think they made mistakes getting Touki or for that matter Dansby so high in the draft. That’s no excuse to sell so low.

  14. They schedule night games because they draw better than day games. When in doubt, it’s the money.

  15. How does one ground out 4-2? Slow rolling check swing bunt that Freddie and Ozzie both charge, and catcher has to cover?

  16. Anibal Sanchez doesn’t have much of a fastball any more, but his changeup is very impressive.

  17. The modern day SP usage of 5/5.5 IP is just crazy, IMO. You look across the league, almost EVERY manager is doing this.

    It’s partly an umpiring problem. Way too many strikes are being called balls, jacking up the pitch counts.

  18. Also, managers are going to be reluctant to push their starters hard in their first or second start of the season.

  19. It is frustrating to see starters not go deep into games. But the Rockies are a good example of adjusting well. Their pen is stout and well-compensated.

  20. Aside from this weird LF double switch, Snit has managed this game well. This is a very fundamentally solid team, and the line drive hitting has to be a reflection on Seitzer.

  21. Bourjos must be in LF now since Lane Adams stayed in the dugout. Chip and Joe didn’t bother to tell us.

  22. Let’s give Snit credit for using his closer in a tie game on the road. With the 3,4,5 hitters up,it’s the right call. Of course he may be planning on using Vizzy for two innings.

  23. That is pathetic for a major league pitcher.., 7 straight balls that weren’t even close

  24. Whatever. We didn’t score. You don’t win in Coors with 2 runs. Bullpen otherwise was great. And we know Vizzy isn’t an elite closer. Davis is, and he blew a save. What a weird game.

  25. Snit does indeed deserve credit for using Vizzy there, regardless of the outcome.

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