The Braves won a blowout on opening night, but needed a clutch two-run bomb from Chipper Jones to win tonight's match up. With the 3-2 victory Atlanta starts the season 2-0 and seems to be playing with a renewed sense of purpose and belief. They will go for the series sweep tomorrow night with Tommy Hanson on the mound.
Player of the game - Chipper Jones
Chipper Jones vowed to rebound from a sub par 2009 season or retire, with one mighty swing of the bat, it looks like he's leaning towards rebound season. It was great to see the Braves leader come through in a clutch situation.
What I liked
- Jair Jurrjens - Yeah, I know he didn't make it out of the 5th inning and I know he didn't always put hitters away when he had the chance to - but just like last year he kept his team in the game and made a couple big pitches when he needed them. Jurrjens was also hurt by a botched defensive play from first baseman Troy Glaus.
- Martin Prado - His double in the 8th inning really got the ball rolling for a Braves offense that had gone into hibernation, he's a great fit for the #2 spot in the Atlanta lineup.
- The power of Chipper Jones - So much of this promising season still depends on the aging bat of Chipper Jones, early returns look good as he smashed a 3-1 John Grabow offering into the stands.
- The bullpen - Another impressive outing from what can potentially be a very good relief corps. Medlen came in and threw two impressive innings, he adds a tremendous amount of versatility to the bullpen. Billy Wagner recorded his first save as an Atlanta Brave and he looked scary scary good - in fact I was shocked at how sharp and devastating every pitch he threw was.
What I didn't like
- The Defense - Martin Prado misplayed two balls, one on a steal attempt that would have resulted in an out, Troy Glaus made a critical error in the 5th inning that saw the Cubs score their only runs.
- Paging Troy Glaus - Everyone has a tendency to overreact to the first couple games of the season, but Glaus doesn't look like the guy that is supposed to add some right-handed thunder to the lineup. He struck out four times tonight, once with the bases loaded.
Thursday 7:10 ET Cubs at Braves - Randy Wells vs Tommy Hanson
Randy Wells against the Braves in 2009
1-0, 2.08 ERA, 13 IP, 0 BB, 8 SO
Tommy Hanson against the Cubs in 2009
N/A Hanson never faced the Cubs in his rookie season.