The Braves offense was stymied and Sean Newcomb struggled with command in his first game in spring training as a Brave as the Braves fell to the Tigers 8-2.
Sean Newcomb had a rough start to his first game in a Braves uniform, as he gave up 2 hits, 2 walks, and 2 earned runs in the first inning. One of those walks was to Miguel Cabrera which many would consider to be the best move towards self-preservation, but after getting Victor Martinez in an 0-2 count, he had an RBI single. A sac fly later and the Braves were down 2-0.
Things did not get better for Newcomb as he gave up consecutive walks (9 pitches) to start the second inning before being pulled from the game. Recording more walks than outs in your first outing is certainly less than ideal, but Newcomb was clearly nervous out there, so hopefully he calms down his next time out there.
Freddie Freeman's wrist appears to be doing pretty well, as he crushed a Daniel Norris offering for a solo shot to cut the Tigers' lead in the 1st down to 2-1. However, the Tigers would answer back with a Miguel Cabrera sac fly in the 2nd to extend their lead to 3-1. Freeman would have one more at-bat in the game and would draw a walk. The Braves are committed to working him back slowly due to his wrist issues, but so far he has be performing quite well.
Freeman's next three games: Saturday (vs. PIT), Tuesday (vs. NYM), Wednesday (across town against the Astros). Won't travel Sunday or Monday— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) March 3, 2016
After Rob Wooten relieved Newcomb and gave up Miggy's sac fly, it was newcomer Chris Volstad's turn to try and tame the Tigers' lineup. After allowing the bases to become loaded for the second time in as many innings, Volstad was punished as Ian Kinsler hit a bases clearing double followed by an RBI double from Anthony Gose and the Braves were quickly down 7-1.
It didn't get better for Volstad as he gave up a homer to Victor Martinez in the 4th to put the Braves further in the hole. Volstad's 5 earned runs in two innings of work was definitely not the debut he was hoping for given his status as a longshot to make the Braves roster. The rest of the Braves bullpen performed admirably though, including Chris Withrow in his debut as he pitched a clean 7th inning.
The Braves did manage to get a run back in the 8th inning on a wild pitch that scored Jeff Francoeur after he had been moved over to third on Hector Olivera's second single of the day.
The Braves' top prospect, Dansby Swanson, was a late-sub in the game and doubled in his only at-bat, which was a decidedly better outcome than his at-bats yesterday where he was held hitless. Sadly, the Braves were unable to bring him home in the ninth and fell to 1-1-1 on the spring.