The 2011 season started out 1-1. The first game flawless. The second not so much. The Braves fell to the Nationals 6-3.
After sitting through a 30-minute rain delay, Tommy Hanson made his first start of the season and it wasn’t pretty. He threw 68 pitches and only 38 were for strikes. His start was interrupted by a hail storm in the fourth inning and he didn’t return, but with the way things were going, Tommy probably only had one more inning left in him. He gave up four runs on five hits and two walks, and only struck out one National hitter on the day.
At the plate, the Braves were 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position and continually swung early in the count. Dan Uggla hit a home run in the sixth inning to give him his first hit as an Atlanta Brave and Alex Gonzalez had a great day going 3-for-3 with a walk and a solo home run in the eighth inning. Freddie Freeman and Chipper Jones were also impressive, and both recorded two hits a piece.
The Braves bullpen wasn’t great either. Scott Linebrink and Peter Moylan both gave up runs as the team was attempting to mount a comeback, and outside of Eric O’Flaherty (who threw one pitch) no one looked real sharp on the mound. Let’s all just hope it was caused by the multiple weather delays.
John Lannan shut the Braves down for five innings and only allowed one run to score. The Nationals bullpen gave the Braves plenty of chances, but we just couldn’t cash in. We also learned Sean Burnett is apparently the 2nd coming of Greg Maddux, and he made two incredible defensive plays in the ninth inning to close out the game.
It just wasn’t our day. The Braves hit the ball hard all day long and it always found a glove. Nate McLouth misjudged a ball in center field and it went for a triple. Rick Ankiel layed down a perfect bunt to execute a suicide squeeze. Freddie Freeman just missed a game tying, two-run home run in the sixth inning.