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John Smoltz has made four Opening Day starts for the Atlanta Braves.

The Atlanta Braves are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in Atlanta, Georgia. They play in the National League East division. They were based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Boston, Massachusetts before moving to Atlanta for the 1966 season.[1] The Atlanta Braves have used 18 different Opening Day starting pitchers in their 44 seasons in Atlanta. The 18 starters have a combined Opening Day record of 12 wins, 19 losses and 13 no decisions.[2] No decisions are only awarded to the starting pitcher if the game is won or lost after the starting pitcher has left the game.[3]

Hall of Famer Phil Niekro holds the Atlanta Braves' record for most Opening Day starts, with eight. He has a record in Opening Day starts for the Braves of no wins and six losses with two no decisions. Greg Maddux had seven Opening Day starts for the team and Rick Mahler had five. Tom Glavine and John Smoltz have each made four Opening Day starts for the Braves. Maddux has the record for most wins in Atlanta Braves Opening Day starts, with five. Mahler has the highest winning percentage in Opening Day starts (1.000), with four wins and no losses with one no decision. All of Mahler's four victories were shutouts, including three in consecutive years (1985 to 1987) by identical scores of 6–0. Niekro has the record for most losses in Atlanta Braves Opening Day starts, with six.[2]

From 1972 through 1980, the Braves lost nine consecutive Opening Day games. In those games, their starting pitchers had a record of no wins, six losses and three no decisions. Niekro had five of the losses during this streak, and Carl Morton had the other. Morton, Gary Gentry and Andy Messersmith had no decisions during the streak. One of the most famous Opening Day games in baseball history occurred during this stretch. That was the game on April 4, 1974 against the Cincinnati Reds at Riverfront Stadium, when Hank Aaron hit his 714th career home run to tie Babe Ruth's all-time record. Carl Morton was Atlanta's starting pitcher for that game, and received a no decision.[2][4][5]

Overall, Atlanta Braves' Opening Day starting pitchers have a record of 4–5 with four no decisions at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, their original home ball park in Atlanta and a 2–3 record with one no decision at their current home park, Turner Field. This gives the Atlanta Braves' Opening Day starting pitchers a combined home record 6–8 with five no decisions. Their away record is 6–11 with eight no decisions. The Braves went on to play in the World Series in 1991, 1992, 1995, 1996 and 1999, and won the 1995 World Series championship games. John Smoltz was the Opening Day starting pitcher in 1991, Tom Glavine in 1992 and 1999, and Greg Maddux in 1995 and 1996. They had a combined Opening Day record of 3–2 in years that the Atlanta Braves played in the World Series.[2]

Contents

Key

Season Each year is linked to an article about that particular Braves season.
W Win
L Loss
ND (W) No decision by starting pitcher; Braves won game
ND (L) No decision by starting pitcher; Braves lost game
Final
Score
Game score with Braves runs listed first
Location Stadium in italics for home game
Pitcher (#) Number of appearances as Opening Day starter with the Braves
* Advanced to the post-season
** Won National League Championship Series
Won World Series

Pitchers

Tim Hudson was the Braves' Opening Day starting pitcher in 2006 and 2008.
Greg Maddux, shown with the San Diego Padres, was the Braves' Opening Day starting pitcher seven times.
Season Pitcher Decision Final
Score
Opponent Location References
1966 Cloninger, TonyTony Cloninger[a] L 2–3 Pittsburgh Pirates Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium [6]
1967 Lemaster, DennyDenny Lemaster L 1–6 Houston Astros Astrodome [7]
1968 Jarvis, PatPat Jarvis L 1–2 St. Louis Cardinals Busch Stadium [8]
1969* Jarvis, PatPat Jarvis (2) ND (W) 5–4 San Francisco Giants Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium [9]
1970 Niekro, PhilPhil Niekro L 3–8 San Diego Padres San Diego Stadium [10]
1971 Niekro, PhilPhil Niekro (2) ND (W) 7–4 Cincinnati Reds Riverfront Stadium [11]
1972 Niekro, PhilPhil Niekro (3) L 5–6 San Diego Padres San Diego Stadium [12]
1973 Gentry, GaryGary Gentry ND (L) 1–2 Houston Astros Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium [13]
1974 Morton, CarlCarl Morton ND (L) 6–7 Cincinnati Reds Riverfront Stadium [14][4]
1975 Niekro, PhilPhil Niekro (4) L 2–6 Houston Astros Astrodome [15]
1976 Morton, CarlCarl Morton (2) L 2–8 San Diego Padres San Diego Stadium [16]
1977 Messersmith, AndyAndy Messersmith ND (L) 2–3 Houston Astros Astrodome [17]
1978 Niekro, PhilPhil Niekro (5) L 4–13 Los Angeles Dodgers Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium [18]
1979 Niekro, PhilPhil Niekro (6) L 1–2 Houston Astros Astrodome [19]
1980 Niekro, PhilPhil Niekro (7) L 0–9 Cincinnati Reds Riverfront Stadium [20]
1981 Boggs, TommyTommy Boggs ND (W) 5–3 Cincinnati Reds Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium [21]
1982* Mahler, RickRick Mahler W 1–0 San Diego Padres Jack Murphy Stadium [22]
1983 Niekro, PhilPhil Niekro (8) ND (L) 4–5 Cincinnati Reds Riverfront Stadium [23]
1984 Barker, LenLen Barker L 0–5 Philadelphia Phillies Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium [24]
1985 Mahler, RickRick Mahler (2) W 6–0 Philadelphia Phillies Veterans Stadium [25]
1986 Mahler, RickRick Mahler (3) W 6–0 Montreal Expos Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium [26]
1987 Mahler, RickRick Mahler (4) W 6–0 Philadelphia Phillies Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium [27]
1988 Mahler, RickRick Mahler (5) ND (L) 9–10 Chicago Cubs Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium [28]
1989 Smith, ZaneZane Smith L 10–3 Houston Astros Astrodome [29]
1990 Glavine, TomTom Glavine L 0–8 San Francisco Giants Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium [30]
1991** Smoltz, JohnJohn Smoltz L 4–6 Los Angeles Dodgers Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium [31]
1992** Glavine, TomTom Glavine (2) W 2–0 Houston Astros Astrodome [32]
1993* Maddux, GregGreg Maddux W 1–0 Chicago Cubs Wrigley Field [33]
1994 Maddux, GregGreg Maddux (2) W 4–1 San Diego Padres Jack Murphy Stadium [34]
1995 Maddux, GregGreg Maddux (3) W 12–5 San Francisco Giants Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium [35]
1996** Maddux, GregGreg Maddux (4) W 10–8 San Francisco Giants Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium [36]
1997* Smoltz, JohnJohn Smoltz (2) L 1–2 Houston Astros Astrodome [37]
1998* Maddux, GregGreg Maddux (5) ND (W) 2–1 Milwaukee Brewers Turner Field [38]
1999** Glavine, TomTom Glavine (3) L 4–7 Philadelphia Phillies Turner Field [39]
2000* Maddux, GregGreg Maddux (6) W 2–0 Colorado Rockies Turner Field [40]
2001* Burkett, JohnJohn Burkett ND (W) 10–4 Cincinnati Reds Cinergy Field [41]
2002* Glavine, TomTom Glavine (4) W 7–2 Philadelphia Phillies Turner Field [42][43]
2003* Maddux, GregGreg Maddux (7) L 2–10 Montreal Expos Turner Field [44][45]
2004* Ortiz, RussRuss Ortiz L 2–7 New York Mets Turner Field [46][47]
2005* Smoltz, JohnJohn Smoltz (3) L 0–9 Florida Marlins Dolphin Stadium [48][49]
2006 Hudson, TimTim Hudson ND (W) 11–10 Los Angeles Dodgers Dodger Stadium [50][51]
2007 Smoltz, JohnJohn Smoltz (4) ND (W) 5–3 Philadelphia Phillies Citizens Bank Park [52][53]
2008 Hudson, TimTim Hudson (2) ND (L) 2–3 Washington Nationals Nationals Park [54][55]
2009 Lowe, DerekDerek Lowe W 4–1 Philadelphia Phillies Citizens Bank Park [56]

Footnotes

  • a  Tony Cloninger had one Opening Day start for the Atlanta Braves in 1966. He also had one Opening Day start for the Milwaukee Braves in 1965, giving him a total of two Opening Day starts for the Braves' franchise.[6][57]

References

General

"Atlanta Braves Opening Day Starters and Results". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/SFG/opening.shtml. Retrieved 2009-01-04.  

Specific
  1. ^ "The Story of the Braves". Major League Baseball. http://atlanta.braves.mlb.com/atl/history/story_of_the_braves.jsp. Retrieved 2009-01-15.  
  2. ^ a b c d "Atlanta Braves Opening Day Starters and Results". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/ATL/opening.shtml. Retrieved 2008-10-28.  
  3. ^ "Official Rules - The Official Scorer". Major League Baseball. http://www.mlb.com/mlb/official_info/official_rules/official_scorer_10.jsp. Retrieved 2009-01-04.  
  4. ^ a b "Hank Aaron's 714th Home Run". Baseball Almanac. http://www.baseball-almanac.com/box-scores/boxscore.php?boxid=197404040CN5. Retrieved 2008-10-28.  
  5. ^ "Braves Timeline". Major League Baseball. http://atlanta.braves.mlb.com/atl/history/timeline3.jsp. Retrieved 2009-01-15.  
  6. ^ a b "Braves Opening Day 1966". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/ATL/ATL196604120.shtml. Retrieved 2008-10-27.  
  7. ^ "Braves Opening Day 1967". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/HOU/HOU196704110.shtml. Retrieved 2008-10-27.  
  8. ^ "Braves Opening Day 1968". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/SLN/SLN196804100.shtml. Retrieved 2008-10-27.  
  9. ^ "Braves Opening Day 1969". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/ATL/ATL196904070.shtml. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  
  10. ^ "Braves Opening Day 1970". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/SDN/SDN197004070.shtml. Retrieved 2008-10-27.  
  11. ^ "Braves Opening Day 1971". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CIN/CIN197104050.shtml. Retrieved 2008-10-27.  
  12. ^ "Braves Opening Day 1972". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/SDN/SDN197204150.shtml. Retrieved 2008-10-27.  
  13. ^ "Braves Opening Day 1973". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/ATL/ATL197304060.shtml. Retrieved 2008-10-27.  
  14. ^ "Braves Opening Day 1974". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CIN/CIN197404040.shtml. Retrieved 2008-10-27.  
  15. ^ "Braves Opening Day 1975". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/HOU/HOU197504070.shtml. Retrieved 2008-10-27.  
  16. ^ "Braves Opening Day 1976". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/SDN/SDN197604090.shtml. Retrieved 2008-10-27.  
  17. ^ "Braves Opening Day 1977". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/HOU/HOU197704080.shtml. Retrieved 2008-10-27.  
  18. ^ "Braves Opening Day 1978". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/ATL/ATL197804070.shtml. Retrieved 2008-10-27.  
  19. ^ "Braves Opening Day 1979". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/HOU/HOU197904060.shtml. Retrieved 2008-10-27.  
  20. ^ "Braves Opening Day 1980". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CIN/CIN198004090.shtml. Retrieved 2008-10-27.  
  21. ^ "Braves Opening Day 1981". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/ATL/ATL198104100.shtml. Retrieved 2008-10-27.  
  22. ^ "Braves Opening Day 1982". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/SDN/SDN198204060.shtml. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  
  23. ^ "Braves Opening Day 1983". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CIN/CIN198304040.shtml. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  
  24. ^ "Braves Opening Day 1984". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/ATL/ATL198404030.shtml. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  
  25. ^ "Braves Opening Day 1985". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/PHI/PHI198504090.shtml. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  
  26. ^ "Braves Opening Day 1986". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/ATL/ATL198604080.shtml. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  
  27. ^ "Braves Opening Day 1987". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/ATL/ATL198704070.shtml. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  
  28. ^ "Braves Opening Day 1988". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/ATL/ATL198804050.shtml. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  
  29. ^ "Braves Opening Day 1989". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/HOU/HOU198904040.shtml. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  
  30. ^ "Braves Opening Day 1990". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/ATL/ATL199004111.shtml. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  
  31. ^ "Braves Opening Day 1991". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/ATL/ATL199104100.shtml. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  
  32. ^ "Braves Opening Day 1992". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/HOU/HOU199204070.shtml. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  
  33. ^ "Braves Opening Day 1993". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CHN/CHN199304050.shtml. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  
  34. ^ "Braves Opening Day 1994". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/SDN/SDN199404040.shtml. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  
  35. ^ "Braves Opening Day 1995". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/ATL/ATL199504260.shtml. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  
  36. ^ "Braves Opening Day 1996". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/ATL/ATL199604010.shtml. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  
  37. ^ "Braves Opening Day 1997". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/HOU/HOU199704010.shtml. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  
  38. ^ "Braves Opening Day 1998". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/ATL/ATL199803310.shtml. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  
  39. ^ "Braves Opening Day 1999". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/ATL/ATL199904050.shtml. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  
  40. ^ "Braves Opening Day 2000". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/ATL/ATL200004030.shtml. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  
  41. ^ "Braves Opening Day 2002". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CIN/CIN200104020.shtml. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  
  42. ^ "Braves Opening Day 2002". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/ATL/ATL200204010.shtml. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  
  43. ^ "Braves 7, Phillies 2". ESPN. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/playbyplay?gameId=220401115. Retrieved 2009-01-17.  
  44. ^ "Braves Opening Day 2003". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/ATL/ATL200303310.shtml. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  
  45. ^ "Braves' Maddux drops first Opening-Day start". ESPN. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=230331115. Retrieved 2009-01-17.  
  46. ^ "Braves Opening Day 2004". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/ATL/ATL200404060.shtml. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  
  47. ^ "Rookie shortstop homers on first pitch". ESPN. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=240406115. Retrieved 2009-01-17.  
  48. ^ "Braves Opening Day 2005". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/FLO/FLO200504050.shtml. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  
  49. ^ "Smoltz allows first-inning grand slam in return to rotation". ESPN. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=250405128. Retrieved 2009-01-17.  
  50. ^ "Braves Opening Day 2006". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/LAN/LAN200604030.shtml. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  
  51. ^ "Braves lead by seven, then hang on to beat Dodgers". ESPN. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=260403119. Retrieved 2009-01-17.  
  52. ^ "Braves Opening Day 2007". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/PHI/PHI200704020.shtml. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  
  53. ^ "Renteria, Smoltz key Braves' Opening Day win vs. Phils". ESPN. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=270402122. Retrieved 2009-01-17.  
  54. ^ "Braves Opening Day 2008". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/WAS/WAS200803300.shtml. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  
  55. ^ "Nats' Zimmerman plays hero with game-winning shot in opener". ESPN. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=280330120. Retrieved 2009-01-17.  
  56. ^ Maaddi, R.. "Lowe’s performance leads Braves over Phillies 4-1". Associated Press. http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/recap?gid=290405122. Retrieved 2009-04-06.  
  57. ^ "Milwaukee Braves Opening Day 1965". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CIN/CIN196504120.shtml. Retrieved 2009-01-04.  
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