After a disappointing 68-93 record last year, the Braves started 2017 on a similar note. The team traveled to Citi Field for an afternoon match up with the New York Mets and their ace of pitching staff, Noah Syndergaard. For the Braves, Julio Teherán was on the mound. The game remained scoreless until the Mets opened up in the bottom of the seventh. With Atlanta unable to answer, opening day concluded with a 6 – 0 loss for the Braves.
Syndergaard Shuts Down Braves Lineup
Atlanta could not solve the young Mets pitcher. In six innings, Syndergaard allowed only five hits, no runs or walks, and struck out seven. He showed impressive poise working his way out of potential danger in two instances. One instance came in the top of the fourth when Atlanta first baseman Freddie Freeman tripled to deep right. Clean up hitter and outfielder Matt Kemp had potential to bring in the first run of the year when Syndergaard proceeded to strike him out. After Kemp, outfielder Nick Markakis went down swinging too.
The second jam Syndergaard worked his way out of came in the sixth. After Atlanta shortstop Dansby Swanson singled, Freeman moved him to third after a hit of his own. With runners on first and third and only one out, the Mets pitcher struck out Kemp again, and Markakis lined out to left. Syndergaard may have been able to continue his first outing of the year, but a blister on his right middle finger ended his day.
Freeman was one of the very few bright spots for Atlanta’s offense yesterday. He had three hits in four at-bats, with a pair of singles and a triple. Two of those were against Syndergaard. Freeman was the only Braves hitter to not only have multiple hits, but to have more than one against New York’s starter. Freeman said Syndergaard’s ability to work his way out of jam is an example of why he is an ace.
Braves Bullpen Loses Pitching Battle
Yesterday Teherán earned himself a quality start against the Mets lineup. Matching up against Syndergaard, the Braves sent out an ace of their own. In six innings Teherán allowed only four hits, walked three, and struck out six. The game stayed scoreless through six innings until Teherán was relieved. In the bottom of the seventh, Atlanta Manager Brian Snitker brought in left-handed reliever Ian Krol. Krol allowed a single and walked Jose Reyes. With runners on first and second, New York shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera tallied the first RBI of the season for his team.
With first blood drawn, the Mets would not look back and broke the game open.With Reyes on second, and Cabrera on first, Krol was yanked for Atlanta pitcher Chaz Roe. Roe walked New York slugger Yoenis Céspedes in the next at-bat. With the bases loaded, the New York added to the score with a sac-fly and another walk. The decisive point of the game occurred when the Mets had the bases loaded and first baseman Lucas Duda cleared them with a double.
Snitker said the four walks in the sixth inning is what lead to his team’s loss. Krol would end the day with the loss on his stat line, and so would his team. The Braves will be back at Citi Field again tomorrow, as they look to rebound after a tough loss.