The Atlanta Braves soundly defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in the opening game of 2009 by a count of 41.
Derek Lowe pitched an absolute masterpiece, going eight innings allowing only two hits and no runs. He only had four strikeouts, but that’s just Lowe being Lowe. He allowed zero walks as well. Mike Gonzalez did allow a run before proving his worth with big strikeouts of Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez with the tying run on base.
How about that Jordan Schafer? He came up against Brett Myers and hit a home run in his first Major League atbat! He became the 99th MLB player ever to accomplish this, and the first Brave since the one and only Jermaine Dye back in 1996. Not only did Schafer do it, he hit it to the opposite power alley in left center field. In Citizens Bank Park. It gets no better than that.
Brian McCann and the reformed Jeff Francoeur also hit early bombs in support of Lowe. McCann’s was an absolute cannon shot into the second deck that followed a great atbat from Chipper Jones. Francoeur tagged Myers on the first pitch of the second inning on a line drive into the left field seats. Sure enough, he was spraying the ball around all night.
Now the Rays will march right into Fenway Park and manhandle the Red Sox in similar fashion. That is, if I have anything to say about it. The Braves and Phillies meet again Tuesday night, weather permitting. Until next time, go Rays and Braves.