My first Braves game of 2013: plenty of promise

Turner Field

The Atlanta Braves have been making Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay look silly for the last two seasons, but on Wednesday night, they took it to a new level.

Halladay was chased from a 9-2 loss with just one out in the fourth inning after he allowed five runs to a new-look Braves offense that I had to see in person to believe. In fact, if you’re a Braves fan, you really need to go down to Turner Field soon to check out this offense.

It was amazing how quickly they scored runs — against one of the best pitchers in the game over the last decade, no less!

Here’s how good this lineup has been through two games: One of the biggest worries about the Braves’ hitters was that they’d strike out a lot this season, and they have, but they’ve scored so many runs that nobody has noticed. When Halladay exited Wednesday night’s game in the bottom of the fourth inning, he had recorded 10 outs. Nine of them were achieved via the strikeout. I could only remember about three of them.

Scoring runs by the half-dozen cures all ills, it seems.

(Also read: Braves fans get stellar review from national sportswriter)

Here are a few other thoughts from my first game at the Ted this season:

– It’s amazing how often young Braves hit home runs in their first career start. Jason Heyward did it, Jeff Francoeur did it, and now catcher Evan Gattis has done it, barely clearing the fence in left field with a homer in the fourth inning. It’s really special to see in person, because that’s a memory you don’t soon forget.

Halladay’s strange outing is just the beginning for opposing pitchers this year. Striking out almost every batter that doesn’t score? That’s insane, but it’s something most experts projected the Braves’ lineup would do. So as long as they keep scoring runs, they’ll be fine. However, every team goes through slumps at some point, and when the Braves stop scoring runs at a blistering pace, it will be interesting to see just how much of a hindrance all those strikeouts can be to the team’s success.

– Turner Field brought in local restaurant Holeman and Finch, famous for their double cheeseburgers, for the 2013 season and gave them three locations to sling burgers in the lower level of the stadium. For $12 (the same price you’d pay at the restaurant), you can get a burger and fries (or you can get a burger, fries and Coke for $15). H&F Burger stands are located on either side of the Fan Plaza (under the Jumbotron) and outside of Section 102. Be sure to get one before you head to your seat — the earlier, the better, because the line grows after the game begins. Grab plenty of napkins, too, because as you see below, they can get pretty messy!

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