While the Braves are off to a 2-0 start early in the 2013 season, I can’t help but notice the Phillies
steady decline. What used to be one of the most feared, if not THE most feared pitching staffs in baseball has surrendered 16 runs and 6 home runs in only two games. The real beauty of last night’s game was the fact that Halladay fanned 9 Braves batters in 3.1 IP but was still tagged for 2 homeruns and 5 earned. Since the start of the 2011 season, Halladay is 0-4 with an 8.00 ERA against the Atlanta Braves
. As Braves play-by-play man Joe Simpson indicated in the telecast last night, there will be plenty of nights that we hit three homeruns and there will be plenty of nights that we have 10+ strikeouts as a team. The key to this season will be timely hitting by the middle of the lineup.
The other story of the night was obviously the Braves middle of the lineup boppers. Justin Upton
began the night with a powerful 2-run opposite field homerun through rain and an inward breeze. Heyward also homered in the 8th but the real story was the debut of Evan Gattis
. Gattis, Braves rookie catcher, homered in his second AB and it was a thing of beauty. In his second AB in the big leagues, after being dealt a strikeout by Halladay in his first major league AB, Gattis connected on a high fly ball to left-center that just cleared the glove of a leaping Dominic Brown. While any big leaguers first homerun is huge, this one was especially cool as a viewer of the telecast and a human-interest story. During Gattis’ second AB, his father and stepmother were being interviewed in the stands as he connected on his first major league hit and homerun. The pride on his father’s face sent goosebumps down my spine consdidering the adversity that Gattis faced in continuing his baseball career after briefly leaving baseball.
On his way to the big leagues, Evan Gattis has faced many bumps in the road. He was injured in his R-Freshman year at Seminole State where he decided that baseball might not hold a future for him. This was rock bottom. On his ascension to the big leagues Gattis made stops as a pizza boy, ski-lift operator, and janitor; a Swiss army knife of minimum wage experience. The story of Evan Gattis far surpasses baseball. His is a rookie on the field but a seasoned veteran in the game of life. Considering the recent ups and downs of Braves All-Star catcher Brian McCann
, I think Gattis should get his shot. McCann has fallen off of late and if Gattis can prove he is a viable option both offensively and defensively behind the plate, he could find himself starting a LOT of games for this Atlanta Braves team this season.
What I’m chopping about in Game 3:
I cannot wait to see Medlen make his season debut. I would compare my feelings on Kris Medlen
to a new marriage with a Maxim model. Things are great in the honeymoon period but eventually you will have to live with the good and the bad. My fear is that to this point in Medlen’s career, aside from injury, we don’t know what that bad could intail. Medlen was 10-1 with a sub 2.00 ERA in limited action last season. Essentially, we have had the honeymoon period with Medlen. Do I expect to Medlen to lose more than one game this year? Of course. Do I expect him to consistently win a lot of games? Of course. I feel that the start to this season for Kris can really set the tone for his year. A win would mean business as usual while a loss would equal his total from all of last season.
This FanPost does not express the views or opinions of Talking Chop.