The Braves began the season with an underwhelming performance in New York on Monday, with the offense failing to capitalize on multiple scoring opportunities and the bullpen melting down in the seventh inning. Julio Teheran pitched very well for the game’s first six innings, leaving a scoreless game to a collection of relievers who were largely ineffective. The Braves will continue their series with New York on Wednesday as Bartolo Colon makes his return to Citi Field.
After being involved in the most controversial play of Opening Day for the Braves, Tyler Flowers defended his decision to set up behind the plate on a throw home from Ender Inciarte that should have kept the Mets off the board. Inciarte was clearly upset with the result of the play after his perfect throw appeared to reach the plate in plenty of time to nail the runner. Flowers defended his positioning after the game:
"If I had been in a conventional [position] in front of the plate, it would have been a tough play," Flowers said. "You're talking about an in-between short hop. Maybe I get it, maybe I don't. So looking back, he would have been out if maybe I had [the ball]. And, if I don't catch it, we're not talking about it."
"Priority one is to set yourself in a position to read the hop and eliminate the in-between hop," Flowers said. "I like to be behind the plate to give myself a margin for error that way and create your own hop, all the while anticipating wherever the plate is in relation to you getting everything going that way."
The runner, Wilmer Flores, was also asked about the play, to which he responded:
"I was surprised he was behind the plate," Flores said. "I don't know the reason. Good for us."
Pretty telling comment there.
Our own Eric Cole conducted an interview with yet another Braves prospect, this time with outfielder Ray-Partick Didder. The 22-year-old details his approach at the plate, how he became a Brave, and much more with insightful responses that help us better understand an under-the-radar player with intriguing skills.
Spoiler: The Braves did not make the cut. This list is full of home runs as Opening Day featured a ridiculous power display all around baseball, including multiple bombs from Madison Bumgarner on Sunday.
The Dodgers broke out on Opening Day against a horrendous collection of pitchers for San Diego, which included catcher/outfielder/pitcher/manager? Christian Bethancourt. This will probably not be the last time an opponent has a record-setting day against the Padres in 2017.