The 21-year-old lefty came up huge with 3 doubles in three plate appearances. This was a very encouraging sign from the Braves' Opening Day first baseman. Read more about Freeman here.
Kimbrel's performance was notable for the other reason - the reason he spent a few months in Bobby Cox's dog house last summer. Craig simply couldn't find the strike zone and got hit hard by the Mets' b-team. His final line included one out recorded via strikeout, 2 walks, a double, and a home run. Now, it's just spring training and maybe he's working some things out that we aren't privy to, but it was not an encouraging sign from someone that is expected to assume the lion's share of late-and-close ninth inning duty for the Braves in 2011.
Meanwhile, the other half of the closing tandem, Jonny Venters, pitched one inning with a strikeout and one hit allowed to Jose Reyes.
On the roster bubble:
RHP Cristhian Martinez entered the game in the fifth and recorded five outs in five batters faced, striking out one, and inducing a ground ball double play to get out of a jam of Kimbrel's making. Martinez pitched well in 52 AAA innings last year, and his peripherals in 26 Major League innings (e.g., xFIP of 3.18) belie his 4.85 ERA. He could be a useful bullpen piece this year.
RHP Stephen Marek, who became famous when he was traded to Atlanta with Casey Kotchman in exchange for Mark Teixeira, got off to a rough start by walking the first batter he faced. Marek eventually settled in and suffered no further damage, recording three consecutive outs to end the inning, including two strikeouts.
Brooks Conrad fielding blunder watch:
There were two errors committed by Braves second basemen. But only one of them was caused by Brooks Conrad. The other was brought to you courtesy of Ed Lucas. Who? Yeah, I don't know.