The Atlanta Braves opened up the 2018 season against their division rivals the Philadelphia Phillies. Julio Tehran got the start making it his fifth consecutive opening day start. However, Julio did not start the season off the way he wanted to by giving up a two out RBI double and the Phillies took an early 1-0 lead. Then in the 6th inning, Tehran gives up a lead off home run to Cesar Hernandez. Later in the inning, Tehran would be replace by Rex Brothers who walked two straight batters, including walking in a run to make it 3-0. Dan Winkler would come in and give up a two run RBI single to make it 5-0 Phillies. Now the game took a turn in the bottom of the 6th inning when Phillies manager Gabe Kapler took out pitcher Aaron Nola who had a thrown just 68 pitches and had been in complete control. Freddie Freeman would make spark a Braves comeback with a two run home run. In the bottom of the 8th inning, Ozzie Albies hit a solo home run. Later in the inning Freddie Freeman would score on a throwing error by the Phillies catcher and pinch runner Peter Bourjos moved all the way up to third. Left fielder Preston Tucker would tie the game on a RBI single to tie the game at 5. In the bottom of the 9th inning with two on and two outs, Nick Markakis hit a three run home run as the Braves win 8-5.
The walkoff by Markakis was an absolute great way to start the season, but there are some concerns to take away from this game. Julio Tehran did not look good. Last season Tehran struggled at Sun Trust Park and his struggles continued in this game. Rex Brothers who had a ERA over 7 last season and had an absolute terrible spring this year somehow made the team. He could not find the strike zone costing the Braves a run overall. Dan Winkler recovered nicely after giving up the two run RBI single, but once again pitching is looking like to be the Braves problems again this season. Yes it is early and we still have a long way to go this season, but this is something that the Braves need to fix. The Braves continue their series against the Phillies Friday night at 7:35 PM. Mike Foltynewicz will take the mound against Nick Pivetta.