PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- There's an old adage concerning spring training games stating that they don't really matter, a broad-stroke perspective that at least one of the 4,000-plus fans in attendance of the Mets-Braves game Monday afternoon would vehemently deny -- the lone man screaming out the name of seemingly every spring invite on New York's roster. And perhaps in terms of final scores or starting pitchers camped out in centerfield between slow sprints, there's some truth to the saying.
However, with the Braves' plethora of young arms in the bullpen, the number of goose eggs posted this spring has mattered.
Six separate relievers have pitched at least four innings of scoreless ball this spring -- three of them (Luis Avilan, David Hale, Alex Wood) took the mound against the Mets. Along with 27-year-old David Carpenter, the bullpen replaced starter Tim Hudson to the tune of five scoreless innings, two hits, two walks and six strikeouts Monday afternoon.
"You'll definitely take...