Whoops. That's the word I'd use for the two starters in this game. Porcello for the Tigers gave up 3 runs in the first inning, including a bomb to Juan Francisco. Hudson gave up 2 runs in the first inning with a bomb by Prince Fielder. I doubt Tim will be the only one to get victimized by Fielder this season. After those iffy starts, both starters settled in, and Hudson went 2 more innings without giving up a baserunner. That's the kind of recovery you expect from a veteran ace.
Francisco stole the day in this game. Juan had the 3 run homer in the first, and a line drive single in the third that help set up a sacrifice run. That turned out to be the difference maker one the score sheet for the day. It's good to see Juan boast the kind of power he had early in games, because that's when he's likely facing the MLB talent he'd see on a day-to-day basis. Also, we need a guy like Juan for his platoon position at 3rd, and the possible off the bench PH for power. As such, you want Juan to have a pinch hitter's mentality. He's not going up there to look at pitches and draw walks. He's going up to the plate to size up a pitch he can drive into the gaps or over the wall. Case in point was his first AB, when he looked at one ball before launching the second pitch high fastball to deep right.
Other notables were Joe Terd grabbing a 2 bagger and RBI with 2 outs, and Chris Johnson knocking in Freddie Freeman on the sacrifice fly in the third. Overall, the Braves didn't have many changes, only going 2-6 with RISP, but the made the most of them to convert 5 runs. That's probably the way we are going to have to play this season. We'll need a few dinks and dunks with a 2-3 run shot somewhere. We'll also need to jump on people early. We're all too familiar with the Braves hanging their heads after not scoring for 4 innings with that "We're NEVER gonna win!" look on their faces. I hate that look.
Six more strikeouts for Braves batters on the day. That brings the toteboard up to...38 total Ks. And Dan Uggla leads the way with 6 Ks in 12 ABs. DO NOT WANT. Clean it up Uggs, you're making me irrationally nervous. I'd feel a bit better about the 38 Ks if there weren't only 13 walks to go along with them. It's early in the training, so a lot of that is kids just wanting to freewheel with the bat. I understand that. I'm going to keep a closer eye on that later in training around the middle of March.
Game today against the Phillies at about 1PM. Looks like we get to see Hamels. Maybe we can take him deep right off the bat and stick it to the Phillies before the season even starts. Never miss a chance to boo the Phillies, folks.