The night started off bad for the Atlanta Braves as they blew a 4-0 lead to the Philadelphia Phillies in Grapefruit League play. It went from bad to worse when it was announced there is no timetable on the return of Cole Hamels.
The Atlanta Braves got off to a fast start last night against Cole Hamels old squad, the Philadelphia Phillies and Zac Eflin. The Braves hit the Phillies starter for three runs in the first inning as the top of the order got things going for the Braves. Charlie Culberson and Johan Carmargo occupied the 1-2 slot at the top of the lineup. Both got on base and scored in the first. Freddie Freeman and Travis d’Arnaud were driven home by a towering double from Austin Riley that scored Freeman and got d’Arnaud thrown out at home.
Sean Newcomb was on the mound to start the game for the Braves. As Newcomb continues to push his way back into the starting rotation, last night’s effort was positive. Newcomb pitched three innings of scoreless baseball while just allowing two hits. Newcomb struck out two batters and finished the night with no walks. Not surrendering a walk is important for Newcomb, who has struggled with his control in the past.
Touki Toussaint followed Newcomb after his exit. Toussaint pitched well in his outing, going 2.2 allowing one run and two walks. Toussaint did strike out three Phillies while in the game. Will Smith and Luke Jackson both made appearances and looked good. It was Shane Greene, who came in the 9th to close the game, that blew the lead. Greene allowed 4 runs in the bottom of the 9th to give the Phillies the 6-4 win.
Christian Pache had himself a good game last night against the Phillies. Pache started in center and batted 9th in the order. Pache went 3-3 with three singles and two stolen bases. It was a very good showing from the young phenom who continues to push his way towards the Braves roster.
Before yesterday’s game with the Phillies, Brian Snitker was asked about Cole Hamels and his timetable to return. Snitker told reporters that the inflammation in his shoulder has yet to subside and he hasn’t be cleared to throw yet. This means Hamels won’t be ready to pitch in an actual game for some time now. That’s bad news for the Braves and Hamels.
The Braves are back in action this afternoon with the Tampa Bay Rays. Felix Hernandez will be on the mound for the Braves. First pitch is this afternoon at 1:05.