Matt Garza could not have done much better in his debut for the Brewers. It's hard to do much better than retiring 20 of his first 21 batters and not allowing a hit through 6 2/3 innings. He only made one big mistake in the game, and that was a home run he allowed to Chris Johnson. After that, he only allowed one more hit in the game, finishing with eight innings pitched and seven strikeouts, allowing only the one run, two hits, and one walk.
Facing Aaron Harang, it seemed like a safe bet that the Brewers should be able to score at least one run, if not more. However, Harang ended up matching Garza pitch-for-pitch through six innings. Harang retired 18 of the first 19 batters he faced, and didn't allow a hit until the start of the seventh inning. The Brewers tried to rally in the seventh, putting runners at first and third with one out. However, a pop up and ground out ended the inning. The Brewers didn't get another runner on base after that and were shutout by the Braves 1-0.
- Reds 1, Cardinals 0: The Reds had to endure a 2 hour, 40 minute rain delay, but walked off in the ninth inning with a walk-off single from Chris Heisey.
- Pirates 4, Cubs 3: In Pittsburgh, a 5 hour, 55 minutes game ended with a walk-off single from Tony Sanchez in the 16th inning. (In an odd note, former Brewer Carlos Villanueva was responsible for giving up the walk-off hit in both Cubs games this season.)
- Cubs (Jason Hammel) @ Pirates (Wandy Rodriguez) - 11:35 am
- Cardinals (Lance Lynn) @ Reds (Homer Bailey) - 11:35 am
Matt Garza can be good enough to earn the contract he was given.
Entering yesterday's game, there were questions about whether or not Matt Garza would be worth the contract that he signed. The contract that he got was the largest in Brewers history for a free agent, so naturally there was some hesitation about it. Derek Harvey took an in-depth look at Garza yesterday to see if he can match his contract value. This was before Garza's dominant start against the Braves. His start yesterday was the first of over 100 that he will make for the Brewers (assuming he remains healthy).
The Brewers will be prepared for when they decide to challenge a call.
A topic of discussion through spring training was how Ron Roenicke would use the challenge he gets each game. There's been some confusion on why Roenicke didn't challenge some calls in the first few games of the season. However, it may not all be Roenicke's fault. On MLB.com, Adam McCalvy sat down with John Shelby and looked at his new role with the challenge system. Shelby will monitor the TV broadcast and available angles to see if a call should be challenged and relay that to bench coach Jerry Narron, who will signal Ron Roenicke with Shelby's decision. It has been used in the first few games and Shelby has not given the thumbs up to challenge a play. When he does, it will be for a play that the Brewers have a great chance to reverse.
Brewers vs. Braves
- Dave Radcliffe of Reviewing the Brew has some takeaways from the opening series.
- Over on Disciples of Uecker, Curt Hogg breaks down the bad pitches that ruined what could have been a dominant start by Kyle Lohse.
- Dan Zinski of Call to the Pen looks at how Gomez sprinted around the bases with his home run and learned from his mistakes (or maybe was just trying to get under the Braves' skin again).
- Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs has a breakdown of all 30 first pitches thrown by Opening Day starters, including the debacle of the Carlos Gomez TOOTBLAN. Sullivan also breaks down an unusual situation where a manager chose to both play the matchup and not play the matchup at the same time. (How long until we see Ron Roenicke do something like this?)
Other Brewers Analysis
- Benjamin Orr of Reviewing the Brew looks at the tough schedule the Brewers have to get through in April if they want to compete.
- Over on JSOnline, Tom Haudricourt wrote about the decision process that Ron Roenicke went through to pick a leadoff hitter, as well as Gomez's approach to the leadoff role.
- Jonathan Judge of Disciples of Uecker compares this year's bullpen to last year's bullpen, and gives his reasons for why this year's bullpen will be better.
Minor League Notes
- Kevin Kimmes of Cream City Cables has some quick notes from the Timber Rattlers media day.
- Marcus Young of Miller Park Prospects continued his preview of the minor leagues with a look at the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.
Beyond the Game
- Kyle Lohse is now on Twitter, though not completely by choice. Cait of John & Cait has the story of the bet that led to Kyle Lohse having to join Twitter.
- Ever wonder what really happens in the sausage race? As a former racer, Matt Mueller of OnMilwaukee.com provided some facts about the sausage race.
The Brewers have the day off today as they travel to Boston for the start of their three-game series on Friday. Meanwhile, four of the Brewers minor-league affiliates start their seasons today. Nashville and Huntsville start their seasons on the road, while Brevard County and Wisconsin begin their seasons at home.