It was not a day to remember for the Braves in Milwaukee yesterday, as they only managed to get 4 hits against a very solid Yovani Gallardo, which resulted in a 2-0 defeat at the hands of the Brewers. Julio Teheran had a good outing, going 6 innings and only allowing 2 runs, but it turned out that those 2 runs surrendered during a rough 4th inning ended up being the difference in the game as the Braves' bats struggled against Gallardo once again. On the bright side, this hilarious bit of baserunning from Carlos Gomez was the first put-out that the Braves recorded in 2014.
Another bright side during the game yesterday was that we got to see the Major League debut of of both Gus Schlosser and Ian Thomas. The two rookies worked together to blank the Brewers in the seventh inning, which ended with Thomas inducing a double play. Another rookie who got to experience his first Major League Opening Day was Ryan Buchter. Although his current stint in the big time is expected to be a short one, Buchter has his sights set on at least making an appearance in Washington in front of his family, who are planning to make the trip from Philadelphia.
During the sixth inning of yesterday's game, Ryan Braun was called safe on a questionable call by the umpires. This prompted Fredi to go out to approach the umps and after taking a quick look at the bench to see if it was okay to challenge, Fredi did so. The umpires looked at the call, saw that Braun was actually thrown out by Chris Johnson, and reversed the call. The actual review itself took 58 seconds, and seemed to be a much better use of time in lieu of a futile argument.
Now that he's finished with his first go-around in the bigs after 11 starts in 2013, Alex Wood is well aware of the fact that with Kris Medlen gone and Brandon Beachy unable to come back, a lot of pressure is now on his shoulders to produce. Wood seems to be up for the challenge, as he talked to Joe Morgan of MLB.com:
"I'm excited, because I feel like there are a lot more expectations for me this year," Wood said. "I like the expectations, because I feel like that is what keeps you focused. I can't wait to get out there tomorrow."
In an effort to shore up the left-handed arms in the bullpen, the Braves signed free agent reliever Luis Perez. Perez has a career ERA and FIP of 4.50 and 4.10, and will probably be a LOOGY once he gets added to the 25-man roster as he continues recovery from Tommy John surgery.
In case you may have missed it during the Braves' Season Preview on SportSouth, the MLB wing over at FOX uploaded part of an interview with Andrelton Simmons. In it, Simmons talks about his time in Curacao and the path that ultimately led him to becoming an Atlanta Brave.
League Wide News
In news that somehow managed to shock people, Brewers OF and former PED cheat Ryan Braun got an extremely warm welcome back from the Milwaukee fans as he went up to bat for the first time during the Brewers victory over the Braves. Despite the fact that he was suspended for 65 games last season for PED use, you really can't expect the home crowd of a former MVP to boo that same person as long as he's still wearing their colors.
After straining his hamstring during the latter part of Spring Training, Blue Jays SS Jose Reyes will be making another trip to the Disabled List. Reyes only played 93 games last season, but he did play well when he did manage to make the field, hitting .296/.353/.427 with 10 HRs and 114 wRC+ for 2.2 fWAR during the 2013 season. He only got through one at-bat this season before the hammy started acting up.
Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos has been struggling with injuries for the past couple of seasons, as he's only played 103 games over the past 2 seasons. The injury woes continued for Ramos, as he had to exit the game with an injured hand which has the Nats concerned that it may be serious.
The Oakland Athletics lost to the Cleveland Indians 2-0 last night. This otherwise inconsequential Opening Day game ended up being a historic one, as the A's tallied their 10th consecutive Opening Day loss, which is now a Major League record. On the plus side, the A's have won the AL West 3 times during that span, so maybe that's a sign that Opening Day results aren't exactly life or death when it comes to the grand scheme of a season.
Jason Bay made his retirement official yesterday, as the 35-year old outfielder decided that he'd rather go home and be a family man instead of go to Japan to play some more. Bay hit .266/.360/.481 with 222 HRs in his career, but will probably be best known for his extremely disappointing stint with the Mets after signing a fat contract with the team.
Vladimir Guerrero signed a 1-day contract with the Los Angeles Angels in order to officially retire as an Angel. He also threw out the first pitch for the Angels Opening Day tilt against the Mariners (unfortunately, Don Baylor broke his leg in the process of catching Vlad's first pitch, so hopefully Baylor can make a speedy recovery). Guerrero had a career slash line of .318/.379/.553 with 449 HRs, 1 AL MVP, a reputation for swinging at (and hitting) nearly anything that came across the plate, and being the owner of one of the strongest throwing arms in baseball.
In the biggest news to come out today, Barry Bonds signed a contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates to return to baseball. The former Pirate and all-time leader in HRs (among many other offensive stats) seemingly made a return to Pittsburgh to present Andrew McCutchen with the 2013 NL MVP trophy, but as it turns out, he was also there for other reasons: To make a full-time return to baseball. When asked why he returned to the Pirates, Bonds replied that "I could never give the game up, and I promise the fans of Pittsburgh that I'm never going to let you down, nor am I going to run around and desert you again." Bonds will be ready to join the 25-man roster on April 31st.