Derek Lowe Makes Phillies Look Silly in Braves Season Opener

Kevin MarkumCorrespondent IApril 5, 2009

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - FEBRUARY 19:  Derek Lowe #32 of the Atlanta Braves poses for a photo during Spring Training Photo Day on February 19, 2009 at Champions Stadium at Walt Disney World of Sports in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Derek Lowe lived up to every dollar the Braves spent on him this offseason.

After seeing guys like CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett sign huge contracts with the Yankees, Lowe seemed to many as only the third or fourth best option in the starting pitcher market this offseason.

The Braves, desperate to find starting pitching help, signed the starter to a four-year deal.  Braves' GM Frank Wren looked pretty smart on opening day, did he not?

Derek Lowe pitched a gem for the Braves with eight innings pitched, allowing only two hits and zero runs.  Lowe also finished the game with four strikeouts.

The other big story of the game—rookie centerfielder Jordan Schafer.

In Schafer's first major league at-bat, he took Phillies pitcher Brett Myers deep to center, beginning what looks to be a great career for the 22-year-old phenom.

Schafer finished the night 2-for-3, with one single, one home run, and an intential walk in the top of the sixth

Also homering for the Braves was Brian McCann, who hit the first homerun of the 2009 MLB Season. Jeff Francoeur also homered in the top of the second inning.

Chipper Jones started out strong in his campaign to defend his 2008 batting crown (.364).  He went 2-for-4 on the evening, while also striking out twice.

This was most certainly not the way Philly fans envisioned starting their 2008 World Series Championship defense.

Brett Myers, starting in place of team ace Cole Hamels, was hit hard, giving up four earned runs, three home runs, eight hits, and one walk in only six innings pitched. He did, however, recorded six strikeouts on the evening.

Braves pitchers kept the Phillies heart of the order (Utley, Howard, and Ibanez) out of the ball game, holding them 0-for-11 with three strikeouts.

Mike Gonzalez pitched in the bottom of the ninth and gave Brave fans some theatrics when he allowed one earned run, thus allowing both Raul Ibanez and Ryan Howard chances to tie the ball game with runners on base.

The Braves closer, Gonzalez, seemed to struggle with control in the ninth, but he has been known to struggle in non-save situations.  This is very common for a pitcher like Gonzalez, who relies on high emotion to get through an inning.

The Braves will face the Phillies again on Tuesday night, 7 p.m. EST, when the two face-off in the second game of this season-opening series. 

Jair Jurrjens is set to face the Phillies in his season debut after having a strong rookie campaign in 2008.