The Braves got some time to shine during spring training on a marquee nationally televised game and they duly delivered when it came to both on-field production and entertainment value. The game eventually ended with the Braves knocking off the Red Sox
Kyle Wright got the ball to start today’s game and he basically picked up where he left off on what’s been a very good spring for him so far. He got through the first two innings without giving up a hit, and things got a little weird in the third inning. After Nick Longhi led off the second inning for the Red Sox with a single and Jarren Duran added a one-out single of his own to move Longhi to third base, Durran took off in an attempt to steal second base. The throw from Tyler Flowers was late and Ozzie’s throw back home to catch Longhi ended up being too much for Flowers to handle and the Red Sox ended up scoring and also getting a runner on third as well. The runner ended up scoring after Jose Peraza hit a grounder to shortstop and after receiving the throw from Dansby Swanson, Flowers decided it was in his best interest to just take the out at first instead of trying to make a play at the plate.
So while the second inning did end up turning into a rocky one for Kyle Wright, he was able to get himself out of trouble and mitigate the damage without letting the inning get completely out of hand. He exited the game after recording the first out of the third inning and while this probably wasn’t his most pristine outing of spring, it definitely fell into the category of being a start that you really can’t complain about.
Kyle Wright, Filthy Breaking Balls. pic.twitter.com/eynYjvoU6o— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) March 6, 2020
Boston scored two runs in the third inning and ended up snatching the lead from the Braves, who had a 1-0 lead up until that point in the game. They got that lead in the first inning after Marcell Ozuna finally got his first hit of spring training with a lot of help from elements. With Freddie Freeman on first base, Ozuna popped one up into shallow left-center field. The wind started playing with the ball and the sun obscured the vision of everyone wearing red in the outfield, so the ball dropped. To his immense credit, Freddie Freeman saw it coming a mile away and never stopped running, which allowed him to triumphantly cross home plate with relative ease.
We know that Freddie knew exactly what was going to happen because he was mic’d up and noticed that the ball was swirling around in the wind before anybody else did. Throughout spring training, ESPN has been mic’ing up players both in the field and on the plate during their “All-Access” broadcasts and it’s honestly been very cool to watch and listen to. I’m hoping that this is a bit of a trial run for broadcasts like this for regular season games in the future (and it definitely felt like a trial run with all of the mic issues they were having with various players), since the players and coaches have been doing their part by letting their personalities shine through. Baseball’s got a lot of work to do when it comes to marketing their game, but this is definitely a step in the right direction.
Ozzie Albies spent a considerable amount of time playing today’s game with both an earpiece and a mic on. One of the more interesting moments was seeing his initial reaction to Austin Riley crushing one onto the berm in left field during the fourth inning in order to tie the game at two runs apiece. Riley’s homer continues what’s been a productive spring for him as he’s currently in the midst of a position battle with Johan Camargo.
Chris Martin and Shane Greene got to get some innings in today as well, and Greene in particular was definitely in need of a good outing in order to get out of what’s been a very slow start to spring training for him so far. Both guys ended up having a good day on the mound — Martin struck out two batters during his one inning of work and Greene only gave up one hit and one walk while striking out three batters and giving up zero runs over two innings. Hopefully this will get Shane Greene moving in a positive direction as he continues to get ready for the upcoming season.
The Braves fell behind 4-3 in the top of the eighth inning after the Red Sox scored two runs off of Chris Nunn, but they rallied and grabbed the lead right back in the bottom half of that same inning. The man who came up big in a bases-loaded situation for Atlanta was none other than Charlie Culberson, whose gapper ended up clearing the bases and putting the Braves up 6-4 at that point. Shea Langeliers added an RBI (his second of the game) to make it 7-4 Atlanta.
It eventually ended 7-5 after Tucker Davidson gave up a run in the top of the ninth. For all 12 of you who care about that sort of thing, that was Atlanta’s fifth win this spring and it was probably their most interesting game of spring training so far. If you’ve been following the Behind the Braves series, then seeing the Braves get mic’d up during this game had to have been an additional treat in addition to seeing the team play a spring training game on television. Hopefully we’ll see more of this type of broadcast in the future and it would be great to see it accompany Braves wins in the future as well.