Brewers kick off 2014 with 2-0 victory over Braves

Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

One win down, hopefully another 95 or so to go!

Win: Yovani Gallardo (1-0)
Loss: Julio Teheran (0-1)
Save: Francisco Rodriguez (1)

HR: None

Boxscore

It wasn't the absolute best game the Brewers could have played, but by gosh and by golly, the team pulled out a win and baseball is back.

Yovani Gallardo was, well...his overall line looked good, anyway. Six shutout innings, four hits, four strikeouts and two walks. Really, he looked a bit rough during most of this game, particularly to start out. He started to find his groove in the middle innings, but started out with five balls in six pitches (the non-ball was a leadoff single for Jason Heyward).

Gallardo hit 93 MPH a couple times, but generally sat in the low 90s, more often at 91 MPH. He managed to do his job, though, and it's hard to ask for much more.

The Brewers offense got off to an interesting start. Carlos Gomez singled into left field, then moved to second as Justin Upton fumbled with the ball. For whatever reason, Gomez tried taking off for third and was thrown out about 2/3 of the way down the line. Never change, Cargo. Maybe change a little bit.

The only runs of the game came in the fourth inning. Jean Segura led off the frame with a walk, then advanced to third on a Ryan Braun single. Braun moved to second on a stolen base before an Aramis Ramirez liner into left field brought both baserunners home.

Ramirez wound up with a double on the play, the only Brewers' extra base hit of the game. He also had a single along with a nice defensive play in the 7th to take away a Braves' double. Jonathan Lucroy and Scooter Gennett were the other two Brewers to pick up multiple hits today.

The rest of the game didn't contain a ton of excitement. Freddie Freeman just missed a solo homer in the top of the eighth, but hit it just wide of the foul pole down the right field line. The Brewers bullpen -- Brandon Kintzler, Will Smith and Francisco Rodriguez today -- shut down the Braves well and good.

For some reason, Rodriguez closed out the game instead of Jim Henderson. Nobody seems to know why. Henderson wasn't the best during Spring, but it seems strange that the Brewers would make a permanent closer change so early on. And if Henderson isn't the closer, it seems likely he would have pitched the 7th or 8th inning. Is he hurt? I would assume we'll have more news on that soon.

Ryan Braun, playing in his first game in 253 days, received a roaring ovation when he walked up to the plate for his first at-bat. Lots of media folks on Twitter took that as an opportunity to criticize both him and Brewers fans. And the midwest as a whole, apparently. I won't bother giving attention to specific Tweets, but pretty much all of them are terrible.

Go Ryan Braun, Go Brewers! The team is 1-0 and that's all that matters when all is said and done.

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