Braves' catcher Brian McCann was 3-4 on Opening Day with a two-run home run. After the Braves'…
McCann thrilled with the first week
MCCANN: He was awesome. That's where he is. That's the Kyle Davies that… last year when he got hurt we didn't really get to see the real Kyle. When he pitches down in the zone he has all four pitches working he's really tough to hit. His location today was spectacular. It was awesome.
SHANKS: And it looked like he was aggressive, which is what he has to be in order to be successful.
MCCANN: He's got to establish the fastball and then pitch off that, and that's exactly what he did. He gave up the two home runs, and that was it. He'll tell you that he'll take two solo shots. That's no big deal. You've got to score runs to win anyway. He pitched awesome today. I was really happy for him.
SHANKS: Can you tell that his new delivery, which is his old delivery, is making him feel more confident out there?
MCCANN: Absolutely. I think when he went over his head, when his hands went over his head he tipped his changeup. Big league hitters can pick that up in two seconds. So this new thing he's got… hitters don't know what's coming. So that's going to make him that much better.
SHANKS: And that great changeup is what made him so successful in the minor leagues.
MCCANN: That's what came out today. He made one mistake with it. But we threw it probably twenty times. He made one bad pitch with it and Shawn Green hit a homer. Other than that he was awesome.
SHANKS: Talk about the hit to left field for me.
MCCANN: I've faced (Aaron) Heilman three or four times and he's thrown me a lot of changeups. Today he left a fastball up. I knew after Chipper hit the double on his changeup he didn't want to get beat with it again, so I went up there ready to hit. He threw me a two-seam fastball away and I didn't try to do too much and I shot it into left.
SHANKS: Not a bad week for this team, 5-1. Could you be any happier with this week?
MCCANN: No this is a great week. A lot of games were close and those were the games we were losing last year. It's a real boost for the team to be winning these games.
SHANKS: And to bounce back after Friday's game is a good sign too…
MCCANN: We got pounded. We got beat 11-1, so to come back and then win today… it was definitely a big win for us. I just can't say enough about Kyle Davies.
SHANKS: How important is it to have this bullpen do so well this early in the season?
MCCANN: You just feel at ease. You feel later in the game in the seventh, eighth, or ninth inning if we're up a run, up two runs, or down two runs, we feel confident. Last year we would be like, ‘oh okay we're done.' But this year we feel like we've got a chance. It's just a new attitude this year.
Bill Shanks is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team, a look inside the Braves‘ traditional scouting and player development philosophies. He can be heard on 680 the Fan in Atlanta, 105.5 the Fan in Macon, and the Atlanta Braves Radio Network. Email Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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