Braves Drop Season's First Game Falling To The Mets, 1-0

Thursday, April 5, 2012
Johann Santana
Johann Santana
- photo by Tim Evearitt

NEW YORK -- While squandering multiple scoring opportunities, the Braves were not able to overcome the sixth-inning flurry that doomed Tommy Hanson and provided the Mets all they needed to celebrate a 1-0 Opening Day victory.

David Wright's sixth-inning single to left field accounted for the lone run during a game that was controlled by solid pitching efforts. Mets starter Johan Santana proved fortunate to escape the trouble he created in his fifth and final inning. Moments later, Hanson saw a leadoff walk sour what had the makings to be a memorable first Opening Day start.

Hanson induced a double play and recorded a three-pitch strikeout to pitch around his first two walks of the afternoon. But after issuing a sixth-inning leadoff walk to Andres Torres, he saw his outing end with Daniel Murphy and Wright recording consecutive singles.

After Wright's single gave the Mets a lead and put runners at first and second base with no outs, Kris Medlen stopped the bleeding by retiring the next three batters he faced.

The Braves left the bases loaded against Santana in the fifth inning and came up empty after putting two on with one out in the sixth inning. This trend continued after Tyler Pastornicky recorded his first Major League hit with a one-out, seventh-inning triple off Ramon Ramirez. This prompted the entry of Tim Byrdak, who killed the threat with consecutive strikeouts of Jose Constanza and Michael Bourn.

There were not many early scoring opportunities as Santana allowed just two hits in five innings. But during the final five innings, the Braves went hitless in six at-bats with a runner in scoring position.

Hanson surrendered a double to Murphy with his sixth pitch of the afternoon and then found a groove that carried him through the end of the fifth inning. The 25-year-old hurler retired the next seven batters he faced and did not allow another hit until Josh Thole produced an opposite-field single with two outs in the fifth.

This was Hanson's first start since right shoulder discomfort had limited him to 3 1/3 innings against the Mets on this same mound on Aug. 6. After missing the regular season's final seven weeks and resting during the winter, he has not revealed any problems with his shoulder.

Martin Prado's one-out, first-inning single stood as the Braves' only hit until Matt Diaz improved his career batting average against Santana to .500 (17-for-34) with a one-out, fifth-inning double. The Mets left-hander seemed to be in good position when he gained an 0-2 count against Pastornicky with two outs in the fifth. But he then issued consecutive walks to the patient Pastornicky and Hanson to load the bases.

Santana escaped the jam unscathed by getting Bourn to hit a chopper back to the mound. But the 16 pitches he threw after getting ahead of Pastornicky with the 0-2 count pushed his pitch count to 84 and put an end to his day. The former Cy Young Award winner missed the 2011 season while recovering from left shoulder surgery.

Box score 

 


--------- Source: MLB.com


Covenant Women Fall In Overtime To Birmingham Southern

The Covenant women's basketball team rallied from a fourth quarter deficit to force overtime, but visiting Birmingham Southern took over in the extra period for a 70-60 victory over the Scots on Saturday evening inside Barnes PE Center. Emma Grimes led three Covenant (4-2) players in double figure scoring with 16 points, including four 3-pointers. Aleigha Williams added 15 ... (click for more)

John Shearer: Watching Some UNC Tar Heel Basketball – Again

Several days ago, I headed over to Chapel Hill, N.C., to watch the University of North Carolina men’s and women’s basketball teams play for the second December in a row.   While I generally pull for the Tar Heel men’s team, they are only about my third or fourth favorite college basketball team. In fact, I actually pulled hard for Indiana, my favorite team along with my ... (click for more)

Tennessee Members Of Congress Urge President To Approve Federal Disaster Assistance For Tennessee Counties

Members of Tennessee’s Congressional delegation on Saturday urged President Obama to quickly approve Governor Haslam’s request for a major disaster declaration for the State of Tennessee to help five Tennessee counties impacted by wildfires and severe weather in November rebuild and recover. “Governor Bill Haslam has submitted a request for Public Assistance and Individual ... (click for more)

Grohn Says Integrity And Ethics Lacking In Berke Administration

Mayoral candidate Larry Grohn criticized controversies and instability coming from the mayor’s administration as a sign of unethical leadership and a lack of integrity. He said, "These scandals lay out the simple fact that it is time for new leadership which is accountable to the people." Councilman Grohn’s criticism comes after the independent auditor’s release of a memorandum ... (click for more)

New School Funding Ideas

After reading the article “County Schools Prepare To Set Priorities For Next Round Of School Building Funding,” I could not help but think about how helpful it would be to have the millions of taxpayer dollars given the owners of Walnut Common apartments to build some new schools.   In case you did not know, since 2008 our elected officials have given away millions in taxpayer ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: John Glenn’s ‘Hero’

When John Glenn became the first man to orbit earth, the timing was perfect. I was 13 years old at the time, in need of a hero, and I latched on to the astronaut tighter than a tick. All of us boys knew he’d flown 150 missions in fighters in World War II and Korea and, believe me, he was “The Right Stuff” long before the great movie about the Mercy 7 daredevils came out about 30 ... (click for more)