Braves Beat Indians Without Reservation, 2-0

Mike Zarrilli

Take first game of series.

The exciting pitching match-up didn't really live up to the billing despite the low score.

Danny Salazar showed off his trademark fastball, and he even threw a few good sliders. But he lasted only four innings and only struck out 3 while giving up the only two runs of the night. The Braves scored those runs with a one-out walk from Brian McCann and a single from Joey Terdoslavich to put runners on, and with two out, newly-acquired Elliot Johnson tripled just off the glove of Drew Stubbs to bring across the only runs of the game.

Alex Wood pitched marginally better. Walking more than 2 batters for the first time this season, Wood's peripherals weren't that great with 5 K and 4 BB in 5.2 innings pitched. The Indians added 5 hits, but they never could manage to score any runs off Wood.

A big reason for that was the defensive wizardry from Andrelton Simmons. As though it happens every night, Simmons made about 3 plays look much easier than they were, and his defensive performance was, yet again, a key reason for the Braves' run prevention tonight. Putting the hitting woes aside, it truly is a pleasure watching Simmons play shortstop every night. Simply brilliant.

The other solid contribution of the night came from Scott Downs. Seemingly infrequently used, Downs came on to record 3 strikeouts in 4 batters over 1.1 innings. He had his breaking ball working, and the team that should have had the most experience against him gave Downs his best NL performance.

Win Expectancy Chart

Source: FanGraphs

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