Not Your Normal Recap
After the season opening loss for the Atlanta Braves yesterday, I wrote a small piece encouraging fans to stay positive. With an impressive 5-2 win over the Milwaukee Brewers in game 2 of the three game series, was I right, or was I right about being positive? Okay, it’s still early, but the Braves showed their capabilities tonight, both from the plate and the mound.
Rather than give you the same old tired box scores and play-by-plays that most recaps toy with, at Tomahawk Take we want to give you something more in our recaps this season – and give you some of our impressions from the game that simple quantitative stats and box scores can’t always fully convey. With a different approach in our recaps comes a desire to hear your thoughts as well, thoughts from everyday fans who watch every game, have thoughts and feelings about what you saw, and have a desire to express both frustrations and hopes.
Many of the staff here at Tomahawk Take, if not all of us, are firm believers in Alex Wood‘s abilities and potential as a pitcher. Wood has an unorthodox delivery, and he often catches criticism for it, and I think mostly from uninformed baseball fans. While unorthodox, his mechanics are good in my opinion, and his delivery is able to deceptively fool many hitters. He’s still a work in progress, but Wood pitched very well going a full 7 innings in the game, and while allowing five hits, he gave up only one run. There were moments of struggle for the young pitcher, but he weathered each storm well and showed that he has the pitches and the mentality to be a strong starter in the rotation for the Braves for a long time to come. We like Alex Wood, and like him more with each outing.
Wood Gets Wood Support (Mostly)
From an offensive standpoint, Freddie Freeman homered twice in the game and went 3-for-3 to help propel the Braves to victory, and his performance is of little surprise to anyone. I went out on a limb about a week ago and made the prediction that Freeman could well end up winning an MPV or Batting Title this year, and his steady improvement since first signing with Atlanta, the amazing season he had in 2013, and his work ethic should lead most to believe such a thing is possible. Keep your eye on Freddie Freeman in 2014, and you could see some amazing stuff from the young first baseman.
The other surprise which is not really a surprise was the performance of Dan Uggla. After worrying fans with his lack of performance last night (although he hit the ball HARD), Dan rebounded tonight to go 2 for 4. What I took away from Dan’s performance tonight was his swing. He appears more comfortable at the plate, his swing is more compact, he’s staying within himself better, and not trying to pulverize the ball each at-bat. It was an intangible reaction, a gut feeling, that Dan has figured something out again, and is more comfortable with his total approach at the plate.
Unfortunately, we cannot say the same for B.J. Upton. I won’t belabor that point, but despite some positive signs from the elder Upton in Spring, he appears, at least to me, to be having the same old issues getting his foot down. Perhaps Justin the Younger has caught his older brother’s disease.
Bold and Silly Bravado
There are other things I took away from the game as we rejoiced with the Braves during our Live Thread, but I’ll keep most of those to myself for now, and I won’t bore you with the same old tired stats you get at a hundred other sites.
One final thing of note though – Carlos Gomez nailed a home run off of Alex Wood early in the first inning, and he literally sprinted around the bases. You’ll recall the incident last season when Gomez popped a homer off Paul Maholm, then with a bit too much bravado trotted the bases slowly, smack talking the whole way. He was confronted by Brian McCann at home plate, and that led to a benches clearing brawl. It was my considered opinion that while Gomez often makes his way speedily around the bases, his VERY fast run tonight around them was almost his way of saying, I’m going to show you who I am, whether you Braves like it or not! Some disagreed with me, but it appeared very IN YOUR FACE! I don’t know, but I do know the Braves got the last laugh in game 2.
Tune in tomorrow at 1:00 PM EST for the final game of the 3-game set, as we’ll have another Live Thread and discuss all things Braves! Those are just some of my overall impressions of the events of game 2. What were yours? We don’t want to just recap the game, we want to know how you feel, so please comment below and let us know. Go Braves!