For the first game of their 10-game road trip, the Braves traveled to Cincinnati and notched an impressive 7-4 win over the defending NL Central champs. Here are three observations from the game:
1. Andrelton Simmons reverted back to World Baseball Classic form
Atlanta's young shortstop was the talk of the international baseball world this offseason following his blistering WBC performance 19 total bases in 25 at-bats, including two home runs and many projected him to take a giant leap forward in Year Two (count me among them). But April was not particularly kind to Simmons, at least not at the plate, where he bounced from leadoff to the bottom of the lineup and back as manager Fredi Gonzalez searched for the spot Simmons would be most effective.
In the No. 8 hole Monday night, where he has struggled in small doses this season (.150.227.150 in 22 previous plate appearances), he submitted the best game of his young career.
Simmons torched Cincinnati's pitching, going 3-...