The Atlanta Braves’ Opening Day

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On April 1st, the MLB season opened up. The Braves season opened up with a game against the Phillies. The game was played in Philadelphia. It was set up to be a dual between Braves pitcher Max Fried and Phillies pitcher Aaron Nola.

The game was thought to be a back a forth affair between the two pitchers and defenses but that was simply not the case. Right away the Phillies opened it up when Andrew McCutchen led off Philadelphia’s first with a single and scored the first run on Alec Bohm’s sacrifice fly to left with the bases loaded. McCutchen’s headfirst slide barely beat left fielder Marcell Ozuna’s throw to the plate. Realmuto’s RBI single in the third gave Philadelphia a 2-0 lead. The Phillies held the lead until the 7th inning when the Braves CF Christian Pache doubled with 2 outs in the inning. Braves’ skipper Brian Snitker put in pinch hitter Pablo Sandoval (The Panda) who cranked a two-run blast to the right field to tie up the game. The game was knotted up for the rest of the game causing it to go into extra-innings. Due to the new rule set in place by the MLB, if you go into extra-innings the last out is placed on second base to start off the inning in order to try to improve the pace of play and how long the game lasts. Unfortunately for the Braves, they could not convert with the runner on second. The inning started with Freddie Freeman grounded out to second which advanced Ozzie Albies to third. Then with one out, Marcell Ozuna’s hit flew out to center field and Ozzie tagged up at third, but he was thrown out at the plate for the final out to end the inning. In the bottom of the inning, Jean Segura singled to shallow left-center which scored Bryce Harper from third. The Phillies capitalized with the runner on second and won the opening day game.

Phillies starter Aaron Nola gave up two runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings, striking out six. During a post-game press conference, Aaron Nola said, “Unbelievable win.” “Last pitch was a pretty bad pitch. Definitely tough pitch to swallow, but overall we got the win and that’s all that matters.” Atlanta’s Max Fried gave up two runs and six hits in five innings, striking out eight. In a post-game press conference, Fried said “I didn’t feel like I was really sharp,” “I was grinding out there, trying to keep us in the game.”

This Opening Day game also marked a milestone for America, a limited crowd of 8,529 returned to Citizens Bank Park for the first time since 2019. COVID-19 prevented fans from attending baseball games last year. They made their presence felt all the way throughout the game bringing back the beautiful baseball atmosphere that many of us have been missing ever since the pandemic started.