Apr 29, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves shortstopAndrelton Simmons
(19) hits a sacrifice fly ball to drive in the game winning run against the Washington Nationals during the seventh inning at Turner Field. The Braves defeated the Nationals 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Andrelton Simmons had a career night in the Atlanta Braves win over the Cincinnati Reds Monday night. The shortstop went 3-4 with two home runs, and a career high four RBIs. We know what to expect from Simmons on the defensive side of things but I’m not really sure anyone knows what kind of a hitter Simmons is actually going to be. Tonight showed us some of the potential he has, with one of the longest homers I have seen him hit in the first inning (see the Huddle for the video).
Whether or not Simmons can continue this type of production remains to be seen and honestly, I hope Fredi Gonzalez just leaves him alone near the bottom of the lineup for now.
Paul Maholm had a good day on the mound–not great, he threw a lot of pitches in just 5 2/3 innings–and managed to hold a strong Reds lineup to just 2 earned runs, while working out of a couple jams and shutting down Joey Votto and Jay Bruce who combined to go 0-5.
The bullpen wasn’t great, but they didn’t need to be. Jordan Walden was really the only low point out of the pen. He let up three hits and two runs without recording an out. Kimbrel looked to get himself in a jam in the ninth inning after letting up a couple of hits, but promptly struck out Joey Votto with a high 90s fastball to shut the door.
All in all it was a great start for the Braves, it is always good to get off to a good start in a series against a strong team–well let’s be honest it is good ALL the time.
It is good to see some of the hitters in the lineup stepping up to help out Justin Upton. Freddie Freeman has been on fire since returning to the lineup and had a two-hit game tonight. Upton (Justin) had two hits and a walk, while little brother BJ continued his dismal performance with four strikeouts and a walk.
In my opinion, Jordan Schafer needs to be starting in center field the next few days. He had a great catch in the outfield after coming in as a pinch hitter. By the way, he also homered in that AB.
Lastly is the Brian McCann news. In his first game back Big Mac went 0-4 with a walk and a strikeout.
Let us know what you think about the game, what you think about Simmons, McCann, Schafer, BJ… whatever is on your mind. I’d love to talk some Braves baseball with all of you guys.