Atlanta traveled to Denver to face Colorado in the Rockies’ home opener. After a two+ hour snow delay, a 24 degree first pitch temparature, and the ceremonial first pitch by the corpse of Sir Ernest Shackleton, the Bravo’s bats wasted no time heating up. Ozzie Albies started the scoring with a one out solo shot in the top of the first. Freddie Freeman followed with his 314th walk of the young season as Rockies pitcher German Marquez pitched around FabFiveFreddie. That’s not the worst idea, but when you follow that with a walk to Nick Markakis, things can spiral out of control. Which they did in the most Coors Field-ish of fashions. A Kurt Suzuki bloop single in the Bermuda Triangle between short, left, and center loaded the bases. Preston Tucker cracked a line drive sac fly to center, scoring Freeman, and Dansby Swanson cleared the bases with a two out triple. Marquez intentionally walked Ryan Flaherty, and managed to retire Brandon McCarthy to end the first. Gotta love having your pitcher end the top of the first.
McCarthy issued a lead-off walk of his own in the bottom of the frame, issuing a free pass to Charlie Blackmon. After Nolan Arenado hit into a fielder’s choice, he scored on a two out Carlos Gonzalez triple. McCarthy worked the second and third without incident, but in the fourth, he got his gopherball on, allowing dingers to CarGo and Trevor Story to cut the lead to 4-3. The key was that they were solo shots, which almost everyone will give up in Colorado. Just make sure you don’t put anyone on in front of them via the base on balls, and you can recover. Which, McCarthy did, and he would go on to redeem himself in the fifth.
The Braves started the second of the decisive frames in the fifth with a two out walk to Tucker, Swanson doubled him home (his third hit of the game), and after another intentional pass to Flaherty, McCarthy doubled up the right-center gap and it was 7-3. Atlanta completed the scoring in the 6th when Freeman singled home Ozzie, who had doubled.
McCarthy became the first Atlanta starter to go 6, finishing with a flourish, as he struck out the side to end his day, after throwing 88 pitches and giving up 3 runs – which in Coors against the hitters Colorado can run out there, you’ll happily take every day of the week and twice on Sundays. The bullpen didn’t allow much drama in the 7th, 8th, and 9th, and Lt. Dans JUUUST missed the cycle when he flied out to the wall in the 7th.
Anyway, there’s a heat wave scheduled for tomorrow, with highs forecast to be about 38 whole degrees Fahrenheit. Probably a local climate change induced by the sizzling Braves’ bats. Anyway, Our Heroes are 3 over .500 for the first time since May 2015 when they were 8-5. I can get used to this.