Braves win first instant-replay challenge but little else on Opening Day

MLB.com screenshot
MLB.com screenshot
MLB.com screenshot


It took just 58 seconds for history to be made Monday in Milwaukee.

A bang-bang play at first base occurred in the bottom of the sixth inning when Milwaukee Brewers right fielder Ryan Braun legged out an infield single, or so he thought.

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez challenged the “safe” call, with this being the first season it’s possible to challenge a call at first base. Gonzalez won, Braun was out, and the Braves were awarded a second challenge for getting the call right.

And it only took 58 seconds.

It may have been the only bright spot in the 2-0 loss for the Braves on Opening Day, but it was historic nonetheless. For the first time in baseball history, a manager challenged a call and was able to get it overturned via instant replay.

Now, about the game. For starters, let’s keep the loss in perspective. It’s far too small a sample size to declare B.J. Upton is back to his old ways of not hitting. Same for Dan Uggla. But as I wrote Sunday night, the offense will need to score in bunches to make up for a lack of healthy starting pitching, and they aren’t any closer to 1,000 runs than they were before Game 1 began.

You’ve still scored as many runs as the Atlanta Braves.

However, it’s just one game, and it was an opportunity for the Braves to get out on a real Major League Baseball field and log nine innings after a long spring. Julio Teheran pitched six innings and allowed only two runs on seven hits. The bullpen threw two scoreless innings with rookies Ian Thomas and Gus Schlosser making their major-league debut. Thomas recorded an out and allowed a hit, while Schlosser got five outs and allowed no hits.

Andrelton Simmons had two of the Braves’ five hits in the lineup’s No. 8 spot, and leadoff hitter Jason Heyward added a hit and a walk in four trips to the plate. B.J. Upton, Freddie Freeman, Dan Uggla and Evan Gattis combined to go 0-for-16 at the plate, which was a big factor in the Braves’ hitting woes.

The Braves will pick up the pieces and go after the Brewers again Tuesday at 8:10 p.m. But don’t panic, Braves fans – it’s just one game, and it means very little in the big picture, even if it will go down in the history books for one changed call.

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