Friday, March 29, 2019

Braves drop opener, give up 10 runs

Well, that could have gone better. I wish I wasn't right about the bullpen looking awful, but in the first game of the year...well the bullpen looked awful. Granted it's one game, and I'm far from throwing in the towel and giving up on life because we lost 1 of 162. I also know we lost the first game of the year in 2018 and ended up in the playoffs.

That being said, the Phillies showed very quickly what they did to improve this year, and that's on the offensive side of the ball. Yes, in a 10-4 loss there's a lot to unpack, but the main thing I noticed was our pitching did not seem up to the task against the offensive power that the Phillies put together. To make matters worse, the Braves defense had a terrible game and kept giving that good Phillies lineup extra outs.

Julio Teheran went for 5 innings in the game, giving up 3 earned runs. His main issue is yet again giving up homers in the first inning, and then not being able to lock down innings with two outs. Julio gave up a homer to the first batter, Andrew McCutchen (yep that's one of the Phillies off-season signings this year), and immediately put the Braves in a hole 1-0. In the 4rd after we'd tied the game with an Markakis RBI, he managed to get 2 Ks with a runner on third and could have put the inning away with no damage.

Instead he walked a guy, and gave up two singles that scored two runs. Down 3-1, the Braves weren't really in a good spot, but it was still manageable. That is until Shane Carle took the mound in the 6th and proceeded to have a 2 walk, one 3-run homer disaster in his short outing.

At 6-1, the game was effectively over, but the Braves drew it to 6-3 on a Matt Joyce homer. Never heard of Matt Joyce? Me either. Apparently he's a 34 year old mostly AL journeyman guy we picked up from the Giants, who picked him up on a minor league deal after he was released by Cleveland. Dude was in Cleveland and was told politely to leave. That has to hurt. Still nice to see a relative no-name guy smash a homer for his new team.

That 6-3 warm fuzzy ended quickly when Luke Jackson came in for relief in the 7th. Two walks, and a hit later, the bases were juiced for Rhys Hoskins the Phillies cleanup hitter. He proceeded to belt a 380 Grandest of all Slams into the seats and the Braves found themselves down 10-3.

Luke Jackson is not good. He's got over 100 innings of relief and 90 something game appearances and his ERA is around 5.50. I've seen enough of him to know he's not a long term answer in the pen, and yet he's still on this MLB roster. I have no idea what Alex Anthopoulos is thinking with him, but if you want to figure out if he can play in the majors? The answer is no. He's 27 and getting lit up. He's not some young prospect trying to figure it all out. Let's move on and find better options.

But again, it's one game. I'm not going to freak out other than continually pointing out that Julio is bad and Luke Jackson doesn't need to be on this roster. Those things are facts. Fight me.

GO BRAVES!

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