When the wife dropped the hammer on my idea of going to a bar all day to watch baseball, I coaxed her into taking me to the charming town of Black Mountain, NC where there was ample shopping and a wonderful playground right up the road in the small town of Montreat. After walking 3 blocks and showing her the goods around the town, I dipped into the Trailhead, a local dive bar, and cozied up to the bar and watched the Braves on a 24 inch TV that was likely 1.2 billion years old.
Right away, the game looked like it was going to be a slaughter. Patrick Corbin, who’s absolutely horrible and I have no idea why the gNats signed him to a $140MM deal (gotta be one of the worst in history), was on the mound and right away gave up hard contact to Ronald Acuna Jr. Almost immediately, he steals 2nd and Matt Olson, the hottest hitter in Braves ST, was up to bat. Unfortunately, he struck out. Austin Riley walked, then Ozzie Albies hit a rocket to RF, but it was caught. Sean Murphy then struck out to end the inning. However, the tone was set and loud contact continued throughout the game.
The Braves ended up scoring 3 in the 2nd on a single, single, single, fielder’s choice, walk, and another single (served those gNats right). However, in the bottom of the 4th, Max Fried gimped his way back to the mound after sprinting to 1B and it was obvious that he’d come up short due to a hammy pull. He’ll likely go the the IL and sit for a bit before returning to the mound. I expect a roster move tomorrow.
The gNats got one back in the 5th, but their guts had already been squooshed and the Braves cruised through the rest of the game with Travis D’Arnaud acting as the fly-swatter, going 4-5 with 3 singles, 1 double, 2 runs, and 2 RBIs. The final score was 7-2.
Since Fried came out early, the Braves did get to see a lot of relievers as Lucas Luetgh, Jesse Chavez, Dylan Lee, Collin McHugh, and A.J. Minter combined for 5.2 innings of 1 run, 4 hit, 4BB, and 3K ball. Those stats aren’t great, but neither are the gNats.
Outside of D’Arnaud, other top performers were:
- Acuna: 2-6, SB
- Olson: 2-5, 1 double
- Albies: 2-5 1 RBI
- Harris II: 1-4, 2 runs, 1BB
- Arcia: 1-4, 1R, 1BB, 1 RBI
It’s likely we see a roster move as early as tomorrow and we can pray to the baseball gods that he’ll only be out for the minimum.
Corbin is a shell of his former self, but they signed him to help them win a championship and he did exactly that, a championship they absolutely would not have won without him. Money well spent; flags fly forever. (Now, resigning Strasburg…)
There’s nothing really to say about this game except a fervent prayer that Fried gets healthy as soon as possible. I suppose a secondary prayer that Marcell Ozuna is flushed down the toilet as soon as possible is also appropriate.
I was thinking it was pretty great we won a game on Opening Day and won a game with Ozuna in the outfield. When others struggled to catch pop flies, he didn’t. 😂
So far, 8 games have finished — and 5 of them ran less than 3 hours.
Shortest was 2:14, longest was 3:38 (the Jays/Cards slugfest).
If MLB wants shorter games, looks like it’s getting its wish right out of the gate.
Even the long games are illustrating the effectiveness of the new rules at shortening games. The Jays/Cards 10-9 game would’ve been well over 4 hours using the old rules without any doubt, and our game seemed like it was taking forever in the early innings but then you looked up in the top of the fifth and it was only an hour-and-a-half old, which was pretty much on track for a 3-hour game. So yeah, this is pretty clearly going to have the intended effect. We’ll have to wait to see how undesirable any side effects are (in terms of a clock violation costing a team a game or something), but the primary effect clearly works.
I’m a big fan of the pitch clock. To me it’s mostly about keeping the game moving along. If it takes a long time because there’s a lot of offense, that’s not a problem. But I don’t enjoy watching pitchers and hitters just standing around.
Exactly my thoughts.
Not delighted with either starter option, but having Lovelady as depth makes me smile. Get well, Max. Go Braves.
The headline on the Baltimore-Boston recap reads “Adley Rutschman’s historic 5-for-5 opener carries Orioles to win”. So what was historic about it? Rutschman went “5-for-5 with a home run and four RBIs, becoming the first player since 1937 to go 5-for-5 or better with a home run on Opening Day and the first catcher with five hits on Opening Day since at least 1900”. He had a great game, certainly worth talking about, but “historic?” I guess if you throw enough qualifiers around any achievement, it can be historic by this standard.
Calling baseball achievements “historic” can be a little silly when you have to slice and dice that much to get something historic out of them, but honestly, when a rookie catcher goes 5-5 on Opening Day, I have zero problem with a little bombast. What a great player. If the Orioles can make some noise in that division, that would be something.
Good win. Get well soon Max.
I certainly like the new rules. I’m still not sold on the “no-shift” aspect of them, but I can live with it. Apparently the average game time was 2:45, compared to 3:06 last season, and I think it will average below 2:40 by the time the season is done. It’s a much more enjoyable product to watch now.
I don’t know if you guys see this, but the pitch clock seems really different for the hitter than I expected. It seems kind of like stepping into a batting cage and waiting for the red light to turn green,