Sports

Braves’ Opening Day game against Phillies brings back memories of recent October and serves as reminder of Atlanta’s depth


Philadelphia — Atlanta warriors There was no flinching from re-entering their halls of terror.

For the past two Octobers, Citizens Bank Park in the South End has Philadelphia Hosted Atlanta’s final game of the season. For the second year in a row, the Braves have been forced to spend their winter residence living with unpleasant memories of this place and a team with playoff numbers.There weren’t many amazing Parkers who would slay the demons in the regular season at Citizens Bank — the Braves know full well that legends are born in the fall — but Atlanta’s 9-3 defeat of phillies Still, opening day was encouraging for visitors.

‘You know, I would have done this five months ago,’ Warriors ace Spencer Strider After the game, when asked if he enjoyed pitching in a hostile environment, the producer told him, “But now every game is important.”

The first game of the season between these teams is billed as a showdown of two of the best pitchers in the game: Striders vs. Philly Zack WheelerAs expected, both men performed well, with the only blemish on their combined resumes being Strider’s two-run shot in the fifth inning to Philly’s left fielder and wettest caveman, Brendan MarshWheeler allowed some well-hit pitches but didn’t allow the Braves a touchdown and struck out five in six innings.

Marsh’s home run, which broke a tie and sent the home crowd into a frenzy, was one of Strider’s only errors of the afternoon.The mustachioed right-hander excels in other areas, blending seamlessly A whole new curveball Digging into his already loaded arsenal and striking out eight in the process. But when Strider ended the game down five-and-two with the Phillies’ bullpen well stocked, he was reminded of his postseason performance in this yard — a complete and spectacular performance. Unfortunately, one unfortunate long pass marred all his brilliance.

In fact, the scene at Citizens Bank Park on Friday was similar to one as recent as October.it all starts with diamond continuity. Because even though an entire offseason has passed since the last matchup, The role has barely changed. As many as 17 of the 18 position players participating in Game 4 of the 2023 NLDS on Friday are in the lineup; Jared Kelenic is the only new face.

Over five innings, the entire game felt like Game 5 of the 2023 NLDS.A room full of drunken, bundled-up Phillies shouting dry in their throats; elaborate playoff-style pregame introductions filled the fighter flyover; the crowd rhythmically chanted “STRI-DER, STRI-DER ” mocking the Braves ace as he prepared for the big occasion; Philadelphia sports villain Ronald Acuña Jr.’s constant jeers and Orlando AsiaOf course, the yard erupted with a mountain of sound as Marsh’s home run sailed over the left-center field fence.

But the similarities end there.

Marsh’s big swing proved to be the Phillies’ only run of the day. After Wheeler was pulled, Atlanta pounced on a rusty-looking Phillies bullpen. That “bullpen,” filled with many of the same relievers from the past two seasons, surrendered completely, without pause.Usually reliable left-handed duo Matt Strahm and Jose Alvarado Allowed a total of 7 runs while recording 3 total outs. Adam Duvall A double tied the game at two in the seventh inning, then Atlanta added seventh on an RBI single in the eighth. Acuña and Michael Harris II. Matt OlsonHis bases-clearing double — his third of the day, on his birthday — was the nail in the coffin that sent the no-more-roaring Phillies down the aisle toward the exits and beyond.

The entire game was a stunning reminder that these Warriors are just as talented and powerful as any other Warriors team that has had great recent success.They hired the reigning NFC MVP and NL Cy Young Favorites.The lineup is terrible, even if they unfortunately lose Sean MurphyHe will be on the injured list Friday after straining his oblique muscle during a seemingly innocuous swing.Rotation by Strider and Max Fried And backed by two reliable, hard-working veterans Charlie Morton and Chris Sale.

Atlanta’s bullpen — which, unlike Philadelphia’s, delivered the goods — looked as loaded as ever. Josh Jimenez, Pierce Johnson and AJ Minter Pointing to this team’s ranking as one of the best in the league, that’s sure to change throughout the long season, but bodes well for Atlanta’s inevitable run into the playoffs.

The Braves will play six more games in Philadelphia this year — two more this weekend and four more when they return in August. None of these regular season games can completely erase the bad memories from the minds of Warriors players. Enter this arena; it takes October’s glory to slay the October Dragon. But Atlanta’s Opening Day performance shows that the Braves are clearly more than capable of upending the Phillies or any other team in the fall.

If the baseball gods descend on us, these two teams will meet for the third straight time in the playoffs. The Braves, whether they say so publicly or not, will surely relish the chance to upend their opponents on their own turf in the postseason. Beyond that, Atlanta’s players and coaches insist they love playing in the deafening stadium of Citizens Bank Park.

Steed understood. He knew he and his team were getting vitriolic criticism in this unforgiving town because they were so good at baseball.

“They’re not going to boo anybody,” Stride said after the game.

Warriors are certainly not nobody.



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