Statistically speaking, there are two things about the Atlanta Braves that should hold true in 2013: they are going to drive in a lot of runs, and they are going to rack up a lot of strikeouts. Today the Braves showed the former, as Freddie Freeman, Dan Uggla and Justin Upton each contributed a home run apiece, and they were no doubt about it bombs off Phillies ace Cole Hamels. Hamels managed five innings and was responsible for 5 earned runs.
Freddie Freeman was the most important piece for the Braves tonight. The young first baseman batted cleanup, went 3-4 with a home run and three RBI.
The Phillies showed some positive signs, especially Chase Utley, who hit a solo bomb off Braves starter Tim Hudson in the fourth. Utley ended the night a double away from the cycle (HR, single, triple) and three RBI to match Freeman. The other Phillies runs came on a Ryan Howard dribbler and an Erik Kratz single.
Hudson started the game looking great, but puckered out in the fourth then failed to finish the fifth inning, and did not receive the win (that went to Luis Avilan). Cole Hamels looked a bit nervous, and left some decent pitches over the plate that were deposited over the outfield wall, which was unlike his dominant spring training.
These two teams will meet again Wednesday; Roy Halladay will take the hill for the Phillies, Paul Maholm for the Braves.