Braves fall to Astros 7-5
Fowler was acquired from Colorado this offseason to play center field and bat leadoff. He put Houston up 2-1 in its spring training opener with a two-run single in the second inning that chased Braves starter Brandon Beachy. He was thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a double.
Fowler, who had spent his entire career with the Rockies, was excited to get things going with his new teammates.
“It was awesome,” he said. “It’s just good to be back on the field. You always feel like the offseason’s long. Getting back and getting with a new team, and we did a lot of things right today.”
Marc Krauss put the Astros ahead 3-2 with a ground-rule double in the fifth. Carter followed with a run-scoring double to left field.
Beachy taking long view after spring debut
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Given that he is a highly competitive perfectionist, Brandon Beachy did not have much fun as he attempts to moderate his effort level during the early portion of the Grapefruit League season. But coming off an injury-marred season, the Braves right-hander also knows it will be in his best interest to do so.
“It’s not going to be easy,” Beachy said. “I don’t like giving up hits and runs. That’s not fun. But I’m trying to have a big-picture mentality.”
Beachy’s comments came after he surrendered five hits and allowed two runs while recording just five outs in Friday night’s game against the Astros at Champion Stadium. Slated to complete two innings, he was removed when he exceeded his prescribed pitch limit (40) in the process of allowing Dexter Fowler’s two-run, bases-loaded single in the second inning.
“These first few [starts], I’m going to be more concerned with tomorrow morning than anything that happens tonight,” Beachy said. “We’ll see tomorrow morning. I’m pretty optimistic.”
Brandon Beachy Looks Shaky For Atlanta Braves In Spring Debut
Manager Fredi Gonzalez probably wanted to see a little more out of Brandon Beachy than what he saw on the mound tonight. After missing the majority of last season with elbow inflammation from his Tommy John surgery a year before, the 27-year-old right-hander did not look comfortable at all in his first start of Spring Training with the Atlanta Braves in their match up against the Houston Astros.
Before the game, Beachy said he wasn’t going to push himself against the Astros, but I don’t think he even anticipated this kind of poor performance. Against Houston, he was so bad that he couldn’t even manage to get out of the second inning and needed to be pulled with one out remaining before the damage got much worse.
In only one inning and two-thirds of work on the mound, Beachy showed no signs of the former dominate pitcher that Braves fans have become accustomed to over the years. He allowed five hits, two earned runs, one walk and recorded only one strikeout in a terrible effort before Gonzalez replaced him with Cory Gearrin to stop the bleeding.
2014 Preview: Atlanta Braves
etween now and Opening Day, HardballTalk will take a look at each of baseball’s 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2014 season. Next up: The Atlanta Braves.
The Big Question: Can the Braves follow up on a 96-win season and defend their NL East title?
The Nationals were heavy favorites going into 2013, but it was the Braves who won the NL East crown at season’s end. They relied on a fantastic starting rotation and the league’s best bullpen to stampede their way to 96 wins. Unfortunately for them, they were ousted in the NLDS by the Dodgers in four games.
The Braves weren’t very active in the free agent market during the off-season. They lost catcher Brian McCann (Yankees) and starters Tim Hudson (Giants) and Paul Maholm (Dodgers) while only adding Gavin Floyd, who won’t be fully recovered from Tommy John surgery until mid-to-late May.