Could the Atlanta Braves be looking at another dismal season when it comes to the offense in 2012?
I know it is only the first game of the season and all, but practically all of the Braves hitters on Thursday played as though the 2011 season was still going on. Now, I have to give credit where credit is due, in that Johan Santana pitched a great ballgame and looked sharp on the mound, with five strikeouts and two hits given up in five innings of work. However, that shouldn't take away from the poor performances of many of the go-to players that the Braves desperately need to be productive in order to compete in 2012.
Michael Bourn went 0-4, Brian McCann went 0-3, Freddie Freeman went 0-4, and Jason Heyward went 0-4. Of those four I would have to say that Heyward looked the worst at the plate, striking out on two fastball pitches that he simply could not get the bat around to. Bourn wasn't much better, either, as he stranded four on base in the game (the Braves went 0-6 with runners in scoring position). The seventh inning provided a great opportunity for the team to tie the game up, as there was a man on third base with one out as Jose Constanza stepped up to the plate. Unfortunately, Jose struck out and the runner was eventually stranded.
There were actually two bright spots in the first game when it came to the Braves, one being Tommy Hanson and the other being Tyler Pastornicky. Hanson pitched a solid game, going five innings and striking out four while giving up four hits and a run. He seemed fully healthy to me, throwing 50 strikes in 83 pitches, and Tommy will be need to stay that way for at least the first month while Tim Hudson recovers from surgery. Pastornicky got his first hit of the year, a triple off of Ramon Ramirez, and had a good day overall as well.
Ryan Kekoufski is a lifelong Atlanta Braves fan. He covers sports for the Yahoo! Contributor Network, and currently resides in Virginia.
- Sports & Recreation
- Atlanta Braves
- Jason Heyward