Mar 31, 2014; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez (27) tries to stretch out a single and is tagged out by Atlanta Braves third baseman Chris Johnson (23) after advancing to second base on an error in the first inning of an opening day baseball game at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
The Atlanta Braves opened their 2014 season with a 2-0 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers. For the Braves, it was their first Opening Day loss since losing 11-10 to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2008, and the first time Atlanta had been shutout to open the season since dropping 8-0 to the San Francisco Giants in 1990.
The lone runs of the day came in the bottom of the fourth inning, when Aramis Ramirez doubled into left field, and coming in to score were Jean Segura and Ryan Braun. (Braun, by the way, was met with huge applause from his hometown crowd in his first game back following his PED suspension.)
Throughout the day, Atlanta starter Julio Teheran pitched into and out of jams, and settled down after giving up the double to shut the Brewers out the rest of the way. Teheran was helped out by some spectacular defense behind him, as Freddie Freeman caught a couple of line drives (one of which turned into an inning ending double play), Chris Johnson also snagged a liner at the hot corner, and the middle of the infield with Andrelton Simmons and Dan Uggla showed their stuff as well.
Ultimately, however, the efforts from the Brewers pitching staff were too strong, as Yovani Gallardo got better as the game went on, and Francisco Rodriguez closed the door, although he did allow two batters to reach in the 9th and got Evan Gattis to strike out swinging to end the game.
Opening Day 2014 will go down in history, as Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez was the first manager to ever win a managerial challenge, as he challenged a called-safe at first base in the 6th inning with Braun running, that turned out to be overruled.
Offensively, Simmons had the best day, going 2 for 3. The Braves left 13 men on base, and struck out seven times – both of which are issues that have caused them problems in the past (especially in the post season).
As big as a question mark that the pitching staff had coming into the season, Fredi G. called on two young arms – Ian Thomas and Gus Schlosser – who both made their MLB debuts, and pitched magnificently, combining for 2.0 innings, an allowed hit and a strike out.
Teheran takes the loss in his first (of what I project to be many) Opening Day start, and while he didn’t throw his best game, he still pitched well – six innings, seven hits, two runs a walk and a strikeout.
All in all, Opening Day is a tough loss, but there are 161 games to go, and the Braves showed some good signs of good things.