In the season opener last night against the Washington Nationals at the new Nationals Park, the Braves lost 3-2 in the Ninth. Tim Hudson started the game struggling, allowing two runs in the First, before finding his rhythm and retiring 19 straight to end the Seventh. Chipper Jones hit the first ever home run at Nationals Park, which gave the Braves their only run until they tied it up in the Ninth with a passed ball on two outs, only to fall short as Ryan Zimmerman hit a walk-off homer to give the win to the Nationals off relief pitcher Peter Moylan. It is quite a shame such a solid performance by Tim Hudson did not end in a victory, but the Nationals were able to celebrate the opening of the new Nationals Park with a win. Tonight the Braves have their home season opener as they take on the Pirates with Tom Glavine leading the way on the mound.
Sunday night marks the season opener for the Braves against the Nationals in Washington, and as the team looks to start the season with a win, there are still questions being asked about the status of first baseman, Scott Thorman and catcher Brayan Pena. Reliever Tyler Yates was traded to the Pirates for the Minor League pitcher, Todd Redmond, bring to light the status of other option players is still being contemplated With pitcher John Smoltz starting the season on the disabled list, and decisions yet to be made in regards to the other option players, the good news was the recent batting success of Mark Teixeira at the plate against the Mets on Tuesday. Having entered the game with a .188 batting average, Teixeira gained two hits with a double and a two-run home run. Is Teixeria going to be solid at the plate this season, or will it be a constant struggle for a hit? Questions remain unanswered, but that only adds to the excitement of a new season of Major League Baseball.
After the Braves walked away with a win against the Tigers last night in Detroit 3-2, the team felt reassured to see Tim Hudson deliver such a solid performance as he threw 60% of his pitches for strikes (45 for 75). Yet, then the news came that John Smoltz was scratched from the start against today’s game versus the Indians. Not wanting to take any chances before the season play begins, it was determined it was better safe than sorry. The 40-year old Smoltz said he was not concerned, but should he be? Is the season going to be a constant struggle for the veteran to stay healthy? Should he throw in the towel and retire after a stellar career just as Brett Farve finally decided he couldn’t give his team or the game his best?
The Atlanta Braves have struggled to find the chemistry they once possessed during the early Nineties and into the new millennium when the team prevailed year after year in the National League with the dominant starting pitching staff of John Smoltz, Tom Glavine, and Greg Maddox alongside power hitters like Chipper and Andruw Jones. After a 2007 season of mediocrity that ended too soon; the Braves finally had pulled their act together and found their flow. The disappointing end, however, leads to much optimism for the coming 2008 season, which is already evident in the Spring Training play with the Braves two games back and holding an 11-8 record thus far. Star center fielder, Andruw Jones maybe gone and Edgar Renteria may have had a short-lived stay, but the team has managed to return a star pitching staff (Tim Hudson, Mike Hampton, and John Smoltz), and add a favored veteran, Tom Glavine, back to the starting rotation as well as the newest names of the franchise: Jeff Francoeur and Brian McCann. So with the return of the veteran Glavine in addition to retaining the new generation of star players, the Braves may be coming full circle to reestablish themselves as the dynamic team that was rarely questioned to survive to post-season play. Is the dynamo chemistry back for the 2008 season? Well, that looks to be determined as the Braves continue Spring Training play tomorrow in Detroit against the Tigers and more news will come your way as recent developments will be updated.
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