Monday, April 4
(3-1) Atlanta Braves - 2
(0-4) Milwaukee Brewers - 1
Brandon Beachy's Strong Performance:
Beachy made waves in his season debut Monday, allowing one run on four hits in six innings, walking one and striking out seven. He displayed a little bit of everything in his first outing, rebounding from a mistake, fighting through jams and dominating a good offense with strikeouts.
Beachy put two on in the first on a single and hit by pitch, but he got Casey McGehee on a flyout to end the inning. He allowed a double to Yuniesky Betancourt to lead off the second, but after a bunt moved him to third, Beachy received a strikeout and flyout to end the inning. Rickie Weeks hit a solo homer to lead off the third for Beachy'y only run allowed, but he came back with three straight groundouts of the 2-3-4 hitters.
Beachy's biggest jam came in the fourth when a walk and single began the inning, and they both moved into scoring position on a groundout. However, Beachy struck out Wil Nieves and Chris Narveson to end the inning. Beginning with the two strikeouts in the fourth, he set down five of the last eight batters he faced on strikeouts.
Beachy displayed great command of his fastball, punching out all seven Brewers on the pitch. His hits allowed also came on the pitch, showing that it was by far the most important offering of the day for him. The curveball was off and on throughout the day, but it remained a valuable pitch. The changeup was the same.
Hitting Chris Narveson:
The Braves made Narveson an ace in his first start of the season, allowing three singles over six shutout innings, walking three and striking out five. He was a little shaky with control at times, but the Braves couldn't take advantage with the bat.
Nate McLouth singled in the first but was picked off. Alex Gonzalez walked with two outs in the second but was stranded. Martin Prado singled with two outs in the third but was stranded. Jason Heyward walked with two outs in the fourth but was stranded. David Ross walked with one out in the fifth but was stranded. Chipper Jones singled with one out in the sixth but was erased on a force out, and Dan Uggla was left on first.
So the Braves weren't without baserunners, but they came one per inning for every inning Narveson pitched. It's rather odd this happened considering Narveson wasn't that sharp with his control.
Nate McLouth Thief-o-Meter:
(MIL) Chris Narveson: .376
(ATL) Craig Kimbrel: .213
(ATL) Martin Prado: .196
(MIL) Takashi Saito: -.420
(MIL) Prince Fielder: -.166
(MIL) Wil Nieves: -.144
Game graph courtesy of FanGraphs:
Quotes courtesy of David O'Brien of the AJC
On Beachy getting out of jams
"He was a little shaky early on, not getting his secondary pitches over and not locating like he wanted to. But I thought he settled down really nicely and make pitches when he had to, which was a good sign. He’d bear down and got out of some series jams, kept their hitters off-balance after the third or fourth inning, after Weeks hit that home run.
Too much adrenaline early?
"That’s exactly it. The adrenaline was pumping and I wasn’t very sharp. Couldn’t throw a slider near the strike zone, so that was completely ineffective for the first few innings. I just missed with some fastballs. I got away with a lot of fastballs over the plate in those first two or three innings."
Homers in close games like this feel special?
"They do. I look like crap all game long, was maybe a little bit overanxious on my first few at-bats. But to get that go-ahead home run was a pretty cool thing. It’s my first week with a new team, and a there’s a lot of excitement."
For more on the series, Braves fans check out Talking Chop and Brewers fans check out Brew Crew Ball.