Was it because they were facing a righty on the mound? Was it because a team simply can't lose 162 games in a row? Or was it because the team needed a spark? A spark like having Chipper Jones back in the line up? Whatever it was...praise the Lord, the Braves won their first game of the season!
The Braves definitely seemed more confident and aggressive with Chipper back in the line up. And what a game the Braves most senior of citizens had, both offensively and defensively. The Astros tested Chipper early with a Jordan Schafer bunt. Chipper made an A+ on the test with a bare-handed catch and throw to first for the out. He followed that with a single up the middle during his first at bat. His second at bat? A two-run homer! I don't know what was more fun to watch, Chipper's smile as he headed back into the Braves dugout or the reaction of his parents in the stands. And that didn't complete Chipper's Opening Day. He saved a run with a stellar fielding play and quick throw to get Carlos Lee out at home plate and then snuffed out the Astros final hope by fielding a rocket shot down the left field line and firing it across the diamond to Freddie Freeman for the final out of the game.
But it wasn't just the Chipper Jones show. Tyler Pastornicky hit the first home run of his young major league career. To make it even better, the ball was tossed back on the field to eventually end up in Tyler's trophy case. Tommy Hanson pitched five strong innings (even though he said his fastball "sucked") and his final totals included eight strike outs. To cap off the night, Craig Kimbel earned his first save of the season. All in all, a very good outing.
The comment of the night? It belonged to Fredi Gonzalez. In referring to Chipper being back he said, "I’m glad we didn’t make him go on that rehab assignment.” So are we Fredi. So are we.