The Braves announced today that Jonny Venters met with Dr. James Andrews this morning and received a platelet-rich plasma injection in his ailing left elbow. He will be shut down for 4 weeks then will begin a throwing program. So the Braves will be without him for a while.
There were lots of positives from opening night. A standing room only crowd of over 51,000 got their money’s worth. Chipper Jones kicked things off by zipping in the ceremonial first pitch to catcher Brian McCann. Freddie Freeman, Dan Uggla, and new Brave Justin Upton each stroked homeruns. Andrelton Simmons had a double and scored a run. Chris Johnson had 2 hits, scored a run, and made a nice play at third-charging the ball and firing to first to just nip the runner. Uggla robbed Ryan Howard of a hit with a diving stop of a ball in shallow right center (playing the shift). Lefty Luis Avilan came on in the fifth and got out of a 2 on, 1 out jam without allowing a run (and earned the win). Craig Kimbrel came on in the ninth and sat down the meat of the Phillies’ order 1-2-3.
A few negatives. Tim Hudson had a four run lead but could not finish the deal. He pitched 4 1/3 innings, with the Phillies 3 run fifth ending his night. He left with runners on 2nd and 3rd, luckily Avilan bailed him out. Eric O’Flaherty and Jordan Walden each came on and surrendered runs. Walden seemed a little like Wild Thing Mitch Williams, getting himself in and out of trouble by allowing a double, 2 wild pitches, and a run before getting out of it by striking out Ben Revere with gas in the high 90s. Braves pitchers could not seem to get Chase Utley out; he finished a double short of hitting for the cycle. Jason Heyward and B.J. Upton went 0 for 7 with a walk.
Over all, a pretty good night. The Braves are off tonight. Next game will be Wednesday night at 7:10 on FoxSportSouth, Phillies RH Roy Halladay vs LH Paul Maholm. Juan Francisco should get his first start at third for the Braves.