Braves 16, Cubs 5

Chicago Cubs vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – April 05, 2010 – ESPN.

That’s the way to start the season.

The game itself didn’t start the way you’d like, as Derek Lowe did the one thing he can’t do, and allowed homers. In the first inning, he gave up a three-run shot to put the Cubs on top. But the Braves immediately answered back, with Chipper singling home Melky (in the leadoff spot because he looks like a leadoff hitter) and coming home together with Prado on a bases-loaded single by Escobar.

Then it was time for Jason Heyward’s first major league plate appearance. He took the first two pitches for balls, then took the first strike he saw in the majors out of the park, a massive three-run homer into the right field bullpen to give the Braves a 6-3 lead. In the second, Chipper scored on an error and McCann followed with a homer to make it 8-3.

Derek Lowe, handed a five-run lead, couldn’t help but make it interesting, allowing a two-run homer in the third. He managed — with a great deal of luck — to get through the next three innings unscathed, but gave no indications that this year will be better than last, as he not only allowed the two homers (together with three other hits) but also walked three versus just two strikeouts. On the other hand, he started out last season looking great.

Also, the top relievers were unhittable, though it’s a bit disturbing when they’re pitching in what turned into a blowout. Moylan cruised through the seventh, striking out one and allowing no baserunners, in what was then a three-run game. the Braves then put it away in the bottom of the inning, with Yunel clearing the bases with a double to make it 11-5, then scoring on an error off of Heyward’s bat. Jason came home on a pinch-hit triple by Hinske, who then scored on a Prado single.

Saito was already warmed up, so why not use him, even if it’s a nine-run game. He also threw a perfect inning, getting two strikeouts. Heyward singled in a run in the bottom of the inning, and Glaus scored on a bases-loaded groundout by Infante to make it 16-5. Bobby brought in Wagner, apparently because he hadn’t pitched the last couple of days and tomorrow is that stupid off-day. He duplicated Saito’s effort with a perfect, two-strikeout inning.

The Braves had twelve hits and eight walks, and all the position players but Diaz got into the game. All the regulars but Cabrera had hits, and everyone who came to the plate accomplished something. All in all, a good start to the season, even if Lowe stunk up the joint.

111 thoughts on “Braves 16, Cubs 5”

  1. Got through it on the DVR in a snappy 1:15. Yeah, that was fun.

    Pretty much everything you could hope for. I don’t expect Lowe to be great, or even that good, but he lasted six so that’s something. Good start for the double play combo as well.

  2. I think Prado scored on that error after getting nailed on the elbow.

    I hate having an off day tomorrow! Such a tease.

  3. My office computer died right before the first pitch. Thank goodness for MLB’s iPhone app.

    Funny how an opening-day win puts you in a great mood, even in the face of a potentially fried harddrive.

  4. I was in tech in the theater all day. My Stage Manger interrupted to let me know J-Hey belted a shot. Rest of the day was gravy.

    I don’t want to get too excited only to have my hopes crushed like Jeffy’s self-esteem (should have been).

  5. Ringer,

    What do you do in the theater and where?


    Good luck with the hard drive. I think mine’s on the verge of crapping out too.

  6. Great way to start the season. Thinking of Lowe as a #5 starter makes him more palatable, though the thought of having to pay him as much as we are for the next few years sucks.

  7. Lowe – Zambrano:

    We have to be happy with the outcome of that matchup.

    Now, let’s see if we benefit from any ensuing mismatches caused by throwing our #5 starter on opening day.

  8. Words cannot do justice to the monstrous line drive that was Jason Heyward’s debut HR.

  9. Alex R. from the previous thread. Read in Sports Illustrated something called a modest proposal where the writers from BP make out of the box suggestions. Their modest proposal for the Braves was to start Eric Hinkse at 1b. Some good reasons in the article. IMHO I think Glaus will be fine but its nice to have options.

    Day 1 got to see baseball. Hauled my ass home early to see it. Missed the 1st inning but got to see the replay’s of J-Hey’s homer. Holy shit. The kid’s bat head speed has to be measured with a Mach number. The dang bat looks like a tooth pick.

    So in all Lowe games we have to win by 2 touchdowns.

    For me the player of the game was Yunel Escobar. He may get overlooked this year because of J-Hey fever but man is he good.

  10. Went to the game. I’ve lived in Atlanta for nine years and don’t ever remember the Ted that crowded or that loud. Heyward got a chant at every at bat. Had goosebumps after his HR. Awesome.

  11. Heyward’s ability to stay down and through the ball is like nothing I’ve seen in a player his age in a long while. He’s totally the real deal. Every ball he hit was a line drive. I’d be shocked if he doesn’t hit .300 and 30 HR.

  12. @6


    I am finishing my MFA for Directing at The New School for Drama in NYC. I graduate in May, then it is back into the real world.

    Are you involved with theatre?

  13. I thought all the people who were talking about how the ball sounds off Heyward’s bat were just saying that to add to the hype. Then I heard the home run, they were right.

  14. #4

    Funny how an Opening Day wins puts you in a good mood regardless.

    I sure am hoping Lowe can give us something.

  15. Beckett extension: 4 years 68 MM.

    Should we conclude that Beckett’s market value is only 2 MM more annually than Derek Lowe?

    Today non-withstanding, that contract is looking worse all the time. Hindsight’s 20/20, but it’s too bad we didn’t just sign Jon Garland for the 1 year 4.5 MM he got last year and then hold onto Javy this year..

    Oh well, great win and very good day.

  16. I won my pool when Duke won — but you couldn’t be in that building tonight and not root for Butler unless you were an actual Duke fan. (I was in disguise as a Michigan State fan.)

  17. Guy in my pool was 13th when the Final Four started and ended up winning the league because he picked Duke. So he jumped from 13th to 1st in two games…

  18. @17,

    Small world. I got my MFA from NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program in 2008 and the full-length musical comedy I started writing in school with a collaborator is going to be produced by Jaradoa Theater Company at the Vineyard this July. Definitely excited about that.

    What sort of shows do you work on?

  19. Just saw “the shot” on MLB Tonight. His bat speed is just un-freakin’ believable.

    @ 28

    Congrats! I have heard of Jaradoa, they seem like a really grounded, very cool company. The Vineyard? That is awesome, Chris Shinn said they were great to work with.

    I work on just about everything. Right now I am workshoppin’ a Dante’s INFERNO performance/narrative piece, directing a new play about a Panopticon prison, and trying to figure out how to get a Sartre play produced this summer.

  20. In his Baseball Tonight segment tonight, Nomar Garciaparra had a great explanation of the bat in the hitting zone when discussing Ryan Howard’s/Jason Heyward’s vs. Albert Pujols’ homeruns today. I had always read/heard about certain players keeping the bat in the zone but never really knew what that meant exactly. That was pretty cool and succinct. Nice work, Nomar.

  21. Seeing Heyward waving the bat at the plate is like me waving chopstick….wait, it should be toothpick…

  22. Hey everyone, I have a question:

    How do you rate the current Braves radio broadcasters? According to Wikipedia, the current radio broadcasters are Chip, Don, Jim Powell and Mark Lemke. I kind of have an idea of how some of you feel about Chip, but what about the latter three?

    I’m thinking about subscribing to a radio package. When I watch the team I don’t always pay close attention to the broadcasters and I’m curious what the general consensus is.

  23. I think radio is now Powell and Sutton as the regular guys, with Lemke handling the pre-game stuffand occasionally filling in on games. Chip is TV now, but does some pre-game stuff(?).

  24. Don is pretty good actually, and he and Powell seem to have a decent rapport. Powell’s utter contempt for the Cubs adds an extra layer of hilarity to days like yesterday.

    Lemmer’s voice is not and never will be radio-ready but it’s sort of hilarious to hear him plugging away regardless.

    So radio is solid and has the added bonus of no Chip. The real drag on the radio broadcasts is the damn Napa commercials. Ugh.

  25. Remember a few years ago when the suits decided to deemphasize the “Braves Baseball” element of Braves Baseball on TBS by exiling Skip and Pete to radio and having Don and Joe do TV full-time? Why can’t Don and Joe do that now?

  26. i was at the game. sat down the rightfield line, pin-high to jason heyward, on the 2nd row. what an unbelievable way to start the season.

  27. “Come talk to me when I have a three hit game.”


    I love me some Yunel. Flip that bat, dude.

  28. Not sure if someone posted this on the game thread yesterday, but the other Braves franchise players to hit a HR in their first ML AB:

    Joe Harrington (1895)
    Johnny Bates (1906)
    Jermaine Dye (1996)
    Jordan Schafer (2009)

    Harrington also happens to be the first ML ballplayer to hit a HR in his first AB, and was otherwise distinguished as a very poor player. Bates is one of six Braves franchise players to hit for the cycle. Dye, of course, has gone on to a very strong career. A very small group Mr. Heyward has joined.

  29. I personally think Don is great, but he is even better on the radio. He describes the game in a Scully fashion. Powell is an added bonus.The radio side is great.

    ON TV,I miss Boog, and while Chip isn’t great, he is starting to get over his Cubs crush and has toned it down a little. Hey, it could be worse, we could be stuck with McCarver or Morgan.

  30. Guys, did Schafer start on the DL? I didn’t see him on any of the Minor league rosters.

  31. @47: They have cameras that can do it now. We did it once in a class a few semesters ago using a frame-by-frame analysis at the point of contact and the distance covered by the ball in the first millisecond of flight. It was pretty fun.

  32. Don’t be surprised if Heyward quits Twittering. The Braves don’t like their players being so available to the public. At least, that’s my perception. When Schafer made the team last year, the ability to write on his Facebook Wall vanished.

  33. I personally think Don is great, but he is even better on the radio. He describes the game in a Scully fashion.

    Couldn’t disagree more. Don’s gotten better, but he’s still not a great play-by-play radio guy. Takes forever for him to tell you whether a “high fly ball!” is a can o’ corn or 20 rows into the bleachers, and he can go multiple innings without updating the score.

  34. I personally love listening to Don. He, Like Scully, is just easy on the ears. In contrast, Chip Caray is probably better at the mechanics of broadcasting, but after a few innings of listening to him I want to jab an ice pick in my ear.

  35. Got to agree with Stu. I get the games on the radio only here so I listen way more than I watch on TV. I think Sutton does an okay job but he’s much better doing color and not play by play. I do think Powell is doing a very solid job at the play by play and its a pretty good broadcast. I can’t say great because its not Skip and Pete but its pretty good. I enjoy them together a lot more than Joe Simpson.

    Now you want to talk bad, listen to some Ole Miss games on the radio. They won’t even update the score at the end of innings half the time. They are even worse at basketball and apparently expect you to keep the running math totals in your head for 2 hours.

  36. I also like Don. He’s not the best, but he’s miles from being the worst. I’ve got the MLB At Bat that gives audio of all of the games, and you can choose the feed you want. Let’s you hear a lot of the different broadcasters (and there are some really terrible ones). My personal least favorite, even more than Chip and McCarver (who I hate), is Ken Harrelson who calls the White Sox games. He’s probably the only broadcaster that I simply cannot tolerate. I don’t think I’ve ever watched a full inning of a game he was calling.

    Also, gonna really miss Boog this season.

  37. I always thought Aaron’s sons (the ones in the Bible, not Henry’s) got a raw deal. They were just trying to help, for cryin’ out loud.

    I, too, was only trying to share info on Mike Marshall’s website but that act got me thrown into the banned bin. So henceforth, hankonly will no longer be my nomme de plume.

    You’re right about Boog. He followed a legend and really did well.

    Still think Chip and The Mighty Thor are one Xanax away from being pretty good at their craft.

    Powell’s growing on me and he seems to have a slight humbling affect on Don which serves them both well.

    Any chance Pete Van Wieren can be coaxed out of retirement?

  38. Heyward is a very exciting player. So glad the Braves have him. Also was it Glaus that scored from 1st on Escobar’s double? I didn’t know he could run like that.

  39. I lilke Don ok,and I’m glad we got Jim. Powell. The worst radio man imo is the guy for the Padres. He speaks very rapidly and repeats words and phrases like “How ’bout those Pads; never say die,nnnnever say die!” He’s wore than Sterling for the Yankees.

  40. @62 – Peanut probably could have scored from first on that double. Because he’s fat, you see.

  41. I’m in theatre, too. I’m an actor in Philly. I’m doing a show at the Pearle in New York next season.

  42. I’m in theatre, too. I’m an actor in Philly. I’m doing a show at the Pearle in New York next season. Braves @ Mets, maybe?

  43. I’ll get crushed for this I’m sure, but I actually liked Chip’s call of J-Hey’s HR. It added to the excitement for me. His enthusiasm for routine pop flies is horrible of course, but that kind of emotion is great for plays like yesterday’s HR. Of course Sportsouth has already added the highlight to the great moments in Atlanta Braves history reel and we’ll get to see it about 32,450 times in the next year so I reserve the right to change my mind.

  44. asg,

    I never thought I’d meet so many Braves fans involved with theater. I’m always down to see a Braves-Mets game with some fellow fans.

  45. I was going to post something on the theater thing earlier. I was involved in college, but never went any further than that. My wife teaches theater to elementary kids and my almost teenage son has been in a few school productions. Because of those two I’ve gotten more into doing stagework, costuming, etc… and because of my wife teaching it one semester (and a long-time affection for Henson) I’m also into puppetry (which is a great thing here in Atlanta with the Center for Puppetry Arts).

  46. @72,

    Right on. I did a workshop production of “Man of La Mancha” with puppets in college. It definitely lends itself.

  47. I was an Indian in the Thanksgiving play in first grade, and a Russian Baker in the fifth grade Nutcracker play. That is about the extent of my theater background.

  48. Smoltzie is calling the MLB network feed of the BoSox/Yanks game with Bob Costas. Just tuned in, but seems a little awkward between the two.

  49. ” rel=”nofollow”>We know who wears the pants in the Sammons house. (Take a close look at the bag.)

  50. I have always steadfastly refused to patronize the METS. Even to see my beloved Braves, but if it is with a group from bravesjournal, then exceptions must be made.

    I just got a gig lighting Mike & Mike in the Morning next week! I won’t get to sleep for 36hrs or so but I will become an official ESPN Utility and man do they pay well…

    Does anybody know why they do the punctuated series to start the season?

  51. 79,
    Because opening days usually sell out and baseball teams would rather not issue rain checks to 50,000 fans is the reason I’ve always been given.

  52. I read a post on the AJC where someone said Tommy Hanson wasn’t all that excited to be on the Braves. Anyone else hear that?

  53. Soriano and Gonzalez both looking shaky, pitching against each other tonight.

    EDIT: Gonzo blew it. Whoever’s calling the game did his best Skip impression with a “Rays win! Rays win!” call.

  54. I’m glad Gonzo is playing for someone else this season. I always felt like we were on the verge of a total meltdown when he was pitching for the Braves.

    Boy, the Astros look putrid this season. I enjoyed listening to them on the radio in Baton Rouge when I was in school at LSU (Berkman, Biggio, Bagwell era), but that feels like a long, long time ago when I look at their current roster.

  55. I saw the box score of Bal/TB game, and I could not help but laugh. Sori also allowed two hits and a walk.

    Good job Wren.

  56. @83 That’s what they get when they hired Ed Wade to be their GM. I wish Wade is still in Philly.

  57. @77

    Dude, he’s with an amazingly attractive girl and he’s holding a Victoria Secret bag. Speaking of pants, I doubt he was wearing his later that night.

  58. Ringer,
    There were few things better than walking down those ramps at Shea Stadium with a grumbling, moaning Met crowd right after a Braves win. Feels pretty good at the new place, too.

  59. #78–Thanks Ethan–I will send the link to my poor wife who has been bombarded by Heyward hype in the last 24 hours….

  60. Nate seemed to be running pretty well and seems to be coming around with his hitting. Lowe sure kept him busy in CF, but I was impressed with his defense. Seemed to take good routes and was able to close in on a few that I thought would be out of his reach.

    This club is vastly improved from the start of 2009

    Prado > KJ
    Glaus > Kotch
    Melky/Diaz > ACHE
    Nate > Schafer
    Heyward > Frenchy
    Hinske > Norton

    not to mention that McCann can see and hopefully Chipper can find his power again. I like this team and roster

  61. I going to pick a minor nit with this – his ISO was “down” to 210 in 2008 as a result of batting 364, not because of any deficiencies with his power. His slg was 30 points better than career average. And he’s only a year removed from this. But yeah, as long as he hits .300, everything will fall into place.

  62. csg – On the pitching side, the picture is a bit more mixed with no Javy and Sori in the mix. But we have a full year of Huddy/Hansen. Wagner/Saito have the *potential* to do what Sori/Gonzo did last year. The rest of the BP is a notch better than last year. Frankly, so long as we don’t get bit by the injury bug, I think the Braves have the edge on a currently beat up Philly.

  63. @99 – Neither. I get the idea that the Auburn shouldn’t be interfering on the divine right of the state-named schools to win all the time, but the meme of Auburn as hillbilly backwater is especially ironic, especially given that its main rivals have a similar reputation nationally. But I guess feeling like you’re the tallest pygmy has some resonance.

  64. Auburn and Alabama are both good schools (yeah, I admit it) and Clemson also has it’s strong points. The point is that both Auburn and Clemson have similar reputations (most likely undeserved) as agricultural schools / “cow colleges”. It’s all in good fun.

  65. BOSTON — After going hitless Tuesday for a second straight game to start the season, Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz lashed out at reporters when reminded that his struggles last April and May would be a hot topic if he was slow at the start of this season as well.

    “Good,” he said, turning to face the reporters encircling him. “You guys wait till [expletive] happens, then you can talk [expletive]. Two [expletive] games, and already you [expletives] are going crazy.

    “What’s up with that, man? [Expletive]. [Expletive] 160 games left. That’s a [expletive]. One of you [expletives] got to go ahead and hit for me.”

  66. What’s this “expletive” curse word Big Papi speaks of. I want to add it to my repertoire.

  67. 103—Having trouble deciding what fits best for the fourth, fifth, seventh, and eighth expletives.

    102—Pretty sure Clemson has a much better academic reputation than South Carolina. FWIW.

  68. I don’t have a reason why Hanson would not want to be a Brave. I just saw on the ajc blog that someone said he heard Hanson wasn’t all that excited to be a Brave. And I was wondering if anyone else heard that.

  69. If you read anything other than DOB’s comments on his blog, you’re wasting your time.

    New thread, BTW.

  70. Oh good lord – Let’s just say you’re not likely to run into Pete Palmer there.

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