Santana Debuts, but Braves Fall to Mets in 9th


Mar 20, 2014; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA;Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Ervin Santana (30) in spring training action against the New York Mets at Tradition Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Braves fell to the New York Mets down in Port St. Lucie, after the Braves allowed three runs to cross the plate in the bottom of the 9th inning, and give NY the 7-6 win.

However, the story of the day was the first start of the spring for Ervin Santana in a Bravos uniform, and he went two innings, giving up just two hits and allowed one run, and, if I’m reading the box score correctly, only threw…seven pitches? All for balls?! Efficient. I like.

The only other pitchers worth noting who got work today were Cory Gearrin, who threw one and one-third innings, giving up a hit and a run, and David Carpenter, who tossed a single inning and gave up nothing.

Santana faced off against potential future ace for New York, Zack Wheeler, who stayed in over half the game, going 5.1 innings, allowing five hits and two runs, while issuing one free pass, and sent two men walking back to the dugout. Former Brave Kyle Farnsworth also got some work in today, tossing just an inning, but allowed two hits and two runs.

The lineup for the Braves was a mix of regulars as well as bench guys and regular season roster hopefuls. It saw Jason Heyward go 1-for-2, with a run scoring, and B.J. Upton and Justin Upton each went 2-for-4, and J-Up drove in two runs. Gerald Laird got the call behind the plate, giving Evan Gattis a day off.

On a day which saw guys like Christian Bethancourt and Todd Cunningham get sent back down to Gwinnett, Phil Gosselin (1-for-1, and a run scored as a pinch hitter), Ernesto Mejia (1-for-3 with an RBI, and a run scored), Tommy La Stella (0-for-4) and Tyler Greene (1-for-3, run scored) got the start in the field and in the lineup, and La Stella stayed put the whole game.

It appears to be that time in the spring where Fredi Gonzalez is happy with his starters, and is trying to weed out and find those who can distinguish themselves and prove worthy enough to be on the 25-man roster for opening day.

The Braves are back in action tomorrow, and again, will face off with the Detroit Tigers.