Posted: 4:59 pm Monday, March 31st, 2014
By Jeff Schultz
I’m not sure what the odds were in Las Vegas of the Braves going 162-0. But that bet just died.
The offense: also in need of resuscitating.
With most of the concern about this team centered on starting pitcher, it figured that the biggest problem in Monday’s season opener was the lack of offense. The Braves were held to five hits, struck out seven times and lost to the Milwaukee Brewers 2-0.
My full column off the game will be posted on MyAJC.com. Until then, here are my three “short takes.”
UPDATE: Here’s a link to the full column (subscription).
1. JULIO TEHERAN DOES HIS JOB: Against the backdrop of losing starting pitchers Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy to “Tommy John” surgery in spring training, the Braves needed a sign from Teheran that things would be OK for, well, at least one day. They were. Sort of. The 23-year-old wasn’t dominant but he showed poise by working out of jams and held the Brewers to two runs in his six innings. In other words, he gave his team a chance to win, assuming his team wasn’t going to be shut out … which they were.
2. UPTON-UGGLA WATCH: (Part 1 of 162) OK. So maybe this is a little bit unfair since it’s one game into the season and it’s not like anybody in the Braves’ lineup went on an offensive tear Monday. But two of the guys who get paid to drive in runs, are coming off miserable seasons and get paid the most got off to bad starts. Upton went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and stranded three runners, fanning with two on in the fifth. Uggla went 0-for-4 (reached on a fielder’s choice) and also stranded three. (He did seem to have better quality at-bats than Upton.) Not a good start.
3. ON FURTHER REVIEW: MLB 1, NFL 0: Baseball’s expansion of the replay rule was long overdue. Before this season, the only thing that could be reviewed was whether a home run was fair or foul, and even then it was at the umpire’s discretion. But it has been widely expanded this season, with each manager getting one challenge in the first six innings (a second one if they win the challenge). After the sixth, replays are at the discretion of the crew chief. But give baseball this: It blows away the NFL in how long a ruling takes. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez challenged when Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun was ruled safe on an infield play in the sixth. Replays showed he was out; the call was reversed. But the most impressive aspect of the decision: It took only 58 seconds.
A few recent ramblings, on replay . . .
– MyAJC ($): Injuries means Braves have little margin for error
– MyAJC ($): NCAA needs to take the hint, start paying players
– MyAJC ($): Richt has been tough, even if some haven’t noticed
– MyAJC ($):Georgia loses but Fox goes down swinging at NCAA
– MyAJC ($): Florida proving football school can win at hoops
– MyAJC ($): Georgia is given its chance to shine
About the Author
Jeff Schultz has worked at newspapers in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Atlanta. He has been with the Atlanta-Journal-Constitution since 1989. He has been honored several times by the Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE), National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association (NSSA) and several other organizations. He also likes puppies, rock and roll and anything with cheese on it.