Braves: Drew Smyly not discouraged after shaky second start

Vaughn Grissom

The Braves were embarrassed by the lowly Pirates yesterday, coming just an out shy of being on the wrong end of a no-hitter. The pitching wasn’t much better, either, as they surrendered 10 runs on 17 hits — five of which came off one of Atlanta’s newest additions, Drew Smyly.

Smyly, who breezed through his first start of the spring, found trouble in his second, allowing three runs in the second inning. He gave up two more in the third, leading to Brian Snitker pulling him early. The plan was for him to complete three frames, but that changed with a rising pitch count. However, despite the dismal scoreline, Smyly didn’t leave his second outing of the spring discouraged. In fact, he felt he pitched even better yesterday than he did in his Braves debut.

 

This is why it’s always important to take Spring Training results with a grain of salt — good and bad. A lot of these players, especially pitchers, are working on specific aspects of their game. In this case, Smyly admitted he was toying with his secondary offerings, and it became predictable. However, he left the outing feeling much more comfortable with his repertoire, which is all that really matters.

Obviously, you never want to come just one out away from being no-hit, even in Spring Training. Still, these results aren’t always a sign of what is to come when Opening Day arrives. The Braves will be just fine, and so will Smyly. The most important thing is that everyone came away from the game healthy, which Brian Snitker reiterated after the game.

Ozzie Albies was scratched hours before the game with neck tightness. Snitker said the move was strictly precautionary; there was no reason to test anything this early in Spring Training. The Braves continue their exhibition schedule this afternoon against the Boston Red Sox.

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