Atlanta Braves @ Detroit Tigers: 2/25/09 Game Recap

Kevin MarkumCorrespondent IFebruary 25, 2009

Jeff Francoeur (pictured above) struggled to get on base in the Braves opener against the Detroit Tigers.

Spring training is here, baseball fans. Oh what a glorious day it is.

I love baseball. It is the greatest thing about America, aside from the freedoms we have.

The Atlanta Braves (0-1) opened their spring training against the Detroit Tigers (1-0) today, Feb. 25, 2009.

Josh Anderson started in centerfield and lead-off for the Braves. I projected him a week ago to start this season in center, so he is obviously being given a chance to win that job for 2009. He had a good day, going 1-3 with a run scored and a stolen base.

Yunel Escobar also had a good opening game for the Braves, going 1-2 with a walk and a run scored.

Jeff Francoeur is picking up where he left off in 2008. He struggled a lot today, going 0-4 with no strikeouts. The key here is that he put the ball in play. Strikeouts have been a problem for Jeff in years past.

Young prospects Jordan Schafer (1-4; 1 HR; 1 RBI; 1 SB) and Freddie Freeman (1-2; 2 RBI) both had a strong first game. Schafer started in RF and Freeman came off the bench to play 1B. Jordan is certainly trying to make a case for the starting job in centerfield.

Chipper Jones and newly signed Garret Anderson were both scratched for the lineup today, but should definitely see some time this spring.

Detroit showed strong games from Curtis Granderson (1-3; 1 R), Ramon Santiago (2-2; 1 R; 1 RBI), Miguel Cabrera (1-2; 1 RBI), Gerald Laird (2-3, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 3B), and Brandon Inge (2-2).

Pitching-wise, Jair Jurrjens went two innings for the Braves, allowing 2 ERs, 1 BB, and 3 Hs. This is not a reason to worry about the former rookie of the year candidate, as we are still in February.

Verlander had a strong spring opener, going two innings and allowing no runs on 1 H and 2 BBs.

Juan Perez (0-1) picked up the loss for the Braves while the Tigers scored in the ninth inning, giving their prospect Ni (1-0) the win. Bloom (S, 1) picked up the save in the bottom of the ninth.

The Box Score for this game can be found here: