Braves Win Opener Against Cubs In Blowout
Derek Lowe gave up three runs in the first inning to the Chicago Cubs, and there was this feeling in my stomach that I’ve endured for too many seasons after watching the Atlanta Braves make the playoff 14 straight seasons.
I felt ill.
Then, in the very next inning something special happened.
Twenty-year-old Jason Heyward, the Braves rookie who has been the center of attention all spring, came to bat.
The pitch was low and a bit outside.
And he pounded the ball.
You knew immediately it was gone. His parents–longtime Braves fans and both Ivy League graduates– jumped for joy in the stands. A chubby white guy grasp’s Heyward’s dad’s body in a hug that could have snapped his back. The crowd was jacked.
The Braves pounded the Chicago Cubs 16-5.
Everything seemed to run perfectly for the Braves sans Lowe’s shaky start.
The bullpen closed the game and saved Lowe.
There was team chemistry.
Heyward went 2-5 with 4 rbis and rbis. Chipper Jones embraced his rookie teammate after hitting the home run.
Yunel Escobar drove in 5, a career high.
Brian McCann hit a homer.
Martin Prado, one of the more under-rated players at second base, had two hits.
So did McCann and Troy Glaus.
The offense was overwhelmingly good.
I also know it is the first game of the season. At this time last year, rookie Jordan Schafer hit a homer in his first at bat and started the first week of baseball looking like he was going to be the Braves savior power hitter. After two weeks, Schafer couldn’t hit the ball if it were on a tee and found himself on the bench.
But there was a different kind of energy tonight. Schafer didn’t get a hug when he hit his. The energy wasn’t emitting from the television screen when Schafer hit his homer.
You could just tell Heyward is going to be one of those special players.
Just keep telling yourself: It’s only the first game of the season.