Even though the Braves let their home opener slip through the cracks, there were a couple of interesting notes from the game. These will be things to watch this week and through the rest of the season.
1. Julio Teheran still needs to improve against lefties. Even though he really only made 2 bad pitches, he still looked uncomfortable
Julio gave up bombs to Danny Murphy and Bryce Harper, but other than that, he looked as good as he did during the spring. He also still had 3 walks, and will need to cut down on those as well.
2. Dan Winkler might be a future starter
Winkler came in and struck out the side, and he was a starter and top prospect before undergoing Tommy John’s Surgery a year ago. Dan could fill the role of that 3, 4, or 5 starter if the Braves trade Chacin or Norris at the deadline.
3. Arodys Vizcaino looks sharp
Viz’s fastball was as crisp as ever, and his breaking ball had a lot of movement. Hopefully he can embrace that closer role whenever Grilli hangs up the spikes.
4. This team can scrap
In the top of the 1st when Washington scored, Atlanta scored in the bottom half. In the top of the 4th when Washington scored, Atlanta answered in the bottom half. This team showed this resiliency during the spring too, and hopefully this attitude can last 162 games.
5. Freddie’s Wrist Is Just Fine
Freddie was just being Freddie, and started off 2016 with a Home Run. Nice to see him punching the clock and putting in work.
6. Bryce Harper has a psychological advantage over us.
As much as you all may want it to not be true, Harper thrives against us. Chipper & Simba did it against the Mets, Michael Conforto seems to be doing it to us, and Ryan Howard used to do it to us. It’s part of baseball. Harper is hitting .435 against Teheran, who is the only pitcher on the Braves staff to face him more than 6 times.
7. Fredi Gonzalez cost us the game
Fredi Gonzalez’s choice to take out Jace Peterson (an excellent clutch hitter), cost us whenever Gordon Beckham struck out TWICE on SIX pitches & made an error that cost us the game. Fredi’s lack of trust and inability to manage the pen will cost us a lot this season.