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.