The Braves had their second home game at night of the season, and all went well… until the sun went down. While conditions still looked playable, the Braves are having some problems with the lighting at their new Spring Training home, and as the Florida Fire Frogs prep to use CoolToday Park as their home field in 2020, this is a kink that is best fixed sooner rather than later.
Felix Hernandez got the start on Monday evening, and man, he looks sharp. Barring a late spring collapse, King Felix has pitched well enough to lock up a rotation spot. Hernandez battled against former Braves farmhand Ryan Weber and made his deepest outing of the spring as the season nears closer, going five innings. He only gave up one earned run and struck out six batters but was hit hard in the fourth inning and issued some walks during the outing.
Overall, however, Hernandez used his veteran savviness to battle the entire night. He looks healthy, is showing command of his pitches, and his changeup is still a thing of beauty. King Felix now has a 1.98 ERA for Atlanta, and while he may just end up being a guy who eats some innings until Cole Hamels returns, there is a chance the Braves catch lightning in a bottle, and he plays a considerable role the entire year.
Weber pitched well for Boston as well, making this a rather quick exhibition. The Braves had an opportunity to break the game open when Brandon Workman came in, loading the bases following singles from Nick Markakis and Austin Riley and a Dansby Swanson walk. However, Workman was able to induce a double-play ball on the ground and close the door with a strikeout. The Braves’ lone run scored when Ender Inciarte tagged up on a Freddie Freeman sacrifice fly.
Another notable performer for Atlanta on Monday evening was Touki Toussaint, who ended up throwing four innings after Hernandez hit the showers. Overall, Touki looked fantastic, and at one point, had three straight strikeouts. He has been a lot more in control of his stuff this spring, posting a 2.08 ERA. Toussaint will likely head back down to the minors, but presents an upside play for Atlanta down the road and is still just 23 years old. Few have better raw “stuff” in the organization.
The Red Sox went on to win the contest 2-1 on a quiet night from the Braves’ offense.
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