Phillies @ Braves Series Recap
The Braves wasted no time this season to bring some excitement to SunTrust Park. From a walk-off to an extra inning thriller, finished off with an offensive explosion, this series made the long offseason worth the wait. If this series was foreshadowing how this season will go, all of Braves country is in for one crazy rollercoaster ride, but let’s hope the injury bug won’t be on it much longer.
The injury bug wasted no time making its way to Atlanta. Tyler Flowers, in Game 1, left the game early with an oblique injury and has since been put on the 10-day DL. Game 2, it was Kurt Suzuki who left the game after being hit by a pitch. Suzuki’s injury is said to be day to day. So, the Braves only catcher after that was Chris Stewart who made it through the rest of the series unharmed.
After the series finale, the Braves traded the recently acquired Ryan Schimpf to the Angels for catcher Carlos Perez. Perez was acquired to obviously add needed catching depth until Suzuki or Flowers can return. He is a career .224 hitter along with just 10 homeruns in 548 at bats.
So the season started off with a 5 run deficit, and the starting catcher getting hurt. Not an ideal start, but the Braves, sparked by a Freddie Freeman homerun scored 8 runs in the last four innings in which the last 3 came by the bat of Nick Markakis who hit a 3 run walk off homer.
Game 2 was a crazy back and forth extra inning affair. Dansby Swanson put on a show going 3-4 and appeared to have given the Braves the lead in the 8th but Peter Bourjos was called out the plate after a review. The Phillies would score one in the 11th to take a 5-4 lead and that ended up being the final score although the Braves threatened in the bottom half of the inning.
The series finale was an offensive showcase for the Braves. After the Phillies jumped in front 2-0, the Braves scored 15 unanswered runs led by Ryan Flaherty’s 4 hits and 4 runs scored. He is only the third Braves 3rd baseman ever to accomplish that feat. The Braves 19 hits and 15 runs were the most ever in the short SunTrust Park history. (via @Braves).
One of the biggest takeaways from this series is how well the bullpen performed. The ‘pen threw 13 innings and allowed just 3 runs which equates to a 2.08ERA. Just a small sample size but Brian Snitker, who actually wasn’t around to see most of this work by his pen because he got ejected in games 1 and 3, has to be pleased with the way they performed.
A big question mark coming into the season was how Julio Teheran would perform at home this season. It started off poorly with the Phillies scoring a first inning run but Teheran settled in before getting pulled after giving up 3 more runs in the 6th. His final line was 5.2IP 4ER 3ks and 3BBs. Teheran definitely left room for improvement for his next home start which will be Tuesday against the Nationals.
Overall, it was a promising start to the season for the Braves. The starting pitching was good for the most part. Mike Foltynewicz probably had the best start of the series giving up just 2 earned along with 7 Ks and 1 walk in 5.2 innings. Sean Newcomb will be getting the ball to open the series against the Nations before we go back to the top of the rotation.
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