A capacity-plus crowd of 10,446 showed up Saturday to watch the Braves’ last-ever game at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports complex, their spring-training home for 22 years.
Other than a long home run by Ronald Acuna, his fourth of the spring, the Braves went quietly in their Disney finale, losing to the New York Mets 12-2.
As the Braves were saying goodbye to Disney, they said hello to Josh Tomlin, the veteran right-handed pitcher they signed to a minor-league contract Thursday. Tomlin, bidding for a spot on the big-league team as a long reliever, worked the first three innings, allowing three hits and one unearned run. He walked one, struck out three and gave up some hard-hit balls, especially in the first inning.
“I had a little bit of nervous anxiety, butterflies a little bit,” Tomlin, 34, said afterward. “New team, new guy, you want to go out there and try to make a good first impression. I maybe tried to overthrow a little in that first inning, but settled down.
“It was kind of an audition today, and we’ll see what they say tomorrow or the next day and go from there.”
The Braves signed Tomlin, who was with the Cleveland Indians the past nine seasons, mostly as a starter, to a minor-league contract after he opted out of a similar deal with the Milwaukee Brewers upon being informed he wouldn’t make their big-league team. The Braves made him no promises, but he said he’s grateful for the opportunity.
“If it blossoms into something cool, then great,” Tomlin said. “If it doesn’t, then you go somewhere else or go to Triple-A, whatever the case may be, and work and pitch and just continue to try to get better.”
Touki Toussaint followed Tomlin to the mound for the Braves and had a dismal day. He was struck in the foot by a hard-hit ball and remained in the game, but he allowed six hits and seven runs (six earned) in 1-2/3 innings.
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