It wasn’t always pretty, but Sean Newcomb got the job done in his time on the mound Monday night.
Newcomb started for the Braves in their home opener against the Chicago Cubs. The Braves recorded their first win of the season, 8-0 at SunTrust Park.
Newcomb finished the night pitching four innings and facing one batter in the fifth. He gave up six hits, walked four and recorded three strikeouts and one wild pitch. He allowed the four walks by the top of the third. He threw 91 pitches, 49 of those strikes.
“There was a couple of batters I let get away from me, but I was able to kind of, like you said, work out of some jams,” Newcomb said. “And it was definitely a good sign.”
In his first start of the season, Newcomb’s performance was erratic, but he kept the Cubs scoreless through his time on the mound. Manager Brian Snitker said Newcomb’s performance helped the Braves reach a point in the game where the bullpen could come in.
“Newcomb had traffic all night, made pitches when he had to,” Snitker said. “(Brian McCann) did a great job getting him through that. That wasn’t an easy chore. I mean he was throwing the ball really well, but kind of got a little scatter gun, but made pitches when he had to.”
Newcomb said he works with McCann off the field to improve his game. By providing his perspective from behind the plate, McCann gives Newcomb feedback about his pitching. He can look at film of Newcomb and point out his strengths and areas he needs to work on, advice Newcomb takes to heart.
Despite his spotty control, Newcomb said felt solid about his overall performance. McCann agreed.
“I thought he threw the ball extremely well,” McCann said. “When he’s pounding that zone, he’s as good as they come. He made his pitch when he had to. Obviously threw a little bit more balls than we wanted to, but again, he made his pitch when he needed to.”
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