Chopcast: Early impressions following Braves Opening Day loss
One game into the 2014 baseball season and the Atlanta Braves find themselves in a place they have not been in for more than a year: at the bottom of the NL East standings. The team’s 2-0 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers left them looking up at the Marlins, Nationals and Phillies in the division … for whatever that is worth less than 1 percent of the way through the 162-game schedule.
Still, this was a loss and it does count and it was disappointing for a variety of reasons: Julio Teheran, the ace of the staff right now, pitched well enough to win without his best stuff — and while the team waits on three of its starters to get ready for the season (considering two others are out with season-ending injuries), who knows how many of those starts Atlanta will receive in the next week or so — but the offense was shut out for the fifth time in seven games against the Brewers, nullifying his performance. The reinvention of Dan Uggla and B.J. Upton is off to an 0-for-8 start. The top of the lineup combined for two hits, one walk and five strikeouts.
That’s the bad news. The good news included Andrelton Simmons and Jason Heyward getting off to solid starts, positive MLB debuts from relievers Gus Schlosser and Ian Thomas and Fredi Gonzalez making history by becoming the first manager to ever challenge and win a replay review.
Until there’s a large sample size to work with this season — say, 25 games or so — these impressions are likely going to swing back and forth over the next month.
For now, here are a few impressions from Opening Day (and, regrettably, the "How I Met Your Mother" finale) to consider as the Braves look to get back on the top side of the standings: