April 6, 2010 at 9:35 am by Capitol Avenue Club under Atlanta Braves
I hope everyone enjoyed opening night and opening day. From now on, April 5 will be known as “Jason Heyward Day”. I won’t expound on all the easily romanticize-able symbolism that took place before and during yesterday’s game, I’ll leave that to the experts, but I’ll just say this. From the second Jason Heyward hit that 2-0 sinker out of the park, I knew, without a doubt, that he is exactly where he belongs. Arbitration politics aside, the Braves absolutely made the correct decision. I’m not saying he won’t do his best Jordan Schafer (who also homered in his first MLB plate appearance last year) impression, I’m saying even if he does, this was the correct decision. He’s ready, without a doubt, and he also makes the team better, without a doubt. And that’s the end of the story.
I’d just like to point out that the Braves’ run differential is currently greater than or equal to the total runs scored by every other team in major league baseball.
Courtesy of Fangraphs:
I was hardly surprised to learn that the most important play according to WPA and Leverage Index was Jason Heyward’s home run. I was also hardly surprised to learn that Jason Heyward tallied the most positive WPA yesterday. The legend continues.
If you haven’t seen Mark Buehrle’s spectacular play yet, give it a watch. One of the best plays I’ve ever seen.
I’m generally not the type to worry or get too excited after one game. I’ve obviously betrayed the latter sentiment in the opening paragraph of this post and I’m about to betray the former. I’m unable to get over the fact that Troy Glaus didn’t look very good in the field yesterday. Maybe it’s just one game, maybe he’ll get better, but if his defense doesn’t improve we’re going to see a lot of Derek Lowe (and Tim Hudson and Jair Jurrjens, for that matter) starts like the one we saw yesterday. I’m not particularly worried about his bat, I think he’s healthy and if he stays healthy the bat will come. But defensively, he scares me. After Teixeira, Kotchman, and LaRoche, Braves fans have been recently spoiled with above-average, if not plus, defensive 1B. I didn’t expect that to continue, but I also expected every ground ball to not turn into an adventure.
Stat of the Day
Whoever had money on Nate McLouth being the only Braves’ regular not to score a run yesterday can collect. How things change in just one month. Brian McCann led the Braves by scoring 3 runs yesterday, and Martin Prado, Jason Heyward, Chipper Jones, Troy Glaus, and Yunel Escobar all scored two. Eric Hinske, Brooks Conrad, and Melky Cabrera scored the other three.
By the way, Nate McLouth had a successful day, I’d say, going 1-for-3 with two walks. Melky Cabrera went 0-5 with one walk. I really don’t care about the batting order, but if this sort of thing continues, the roles need to be reversed.
Do you know why MLB teams schedule an off day during the first series of the year? It’s because they don’t want to have to issue a rain check to a sold out crowd. They’d prefer to re-play opening day on the off day. I can’t say I blame them, but I do wish there was a game on tonight.
That’s all from me for now.