It’s always a fun night when the game-winning run scores in the first inning. That was just a nice, calm Saturday afternoon baseball game. The Braves got a run on the first pitch they saw courtesy of Ronald Acuña Jr.’s 22nd career lead-off home run, added another run in the first inning and coasted behind Bryse Wilson to a 6-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
That was the kind of game you could just sit outside on the porch and chill out to while listening on the radio. It wasn’t like last night where you needed to see the 20-run onslaught with your own eyes or most other games where it’s stressful and you want to see it.
There are 116 games left this season and I’m sure a lot of them will be tense. But today? Today was just a day of tranquility.
- I don’t know why starting pitchers continue to throw get-me-over fastballs to Ronald Acuña Jr., but I’m not complaining. Not only was it his 22nd career lead-off homer, but it was the eighth that game on the first pitch he saw. I don’t think you can even call these swings first pitch ambushes anymore with how often he does it. At this point it’s a part of his game, and pitchers have to adjust. Or they won’t. I would prefer it if they choose not to.
- Bryse Wilson had the longest outing of his career today, and I don’t think you can even say it was just because he was facing Pittsburgh. Wilson’s last two starts were against the Diamondbacks and a Cubs lineup that was really struggling at the time, and both of those offenses took care of him very easily. Every start is a learning experience for a young pitcher; today he did a good job of getting soft contact with his changeup instead of just relying on his fastball the way he has in the past.
- Everything is trending in the right direction for Ozzie Albies. One of the weirdest part of the first two months of this season has been the random disappearance of Ozzie’s right-handed swing, but he’s picked up RBI hits with it in consecutive games this series. That’s his bread and butter, and the bread is finally getting buttered again. Oh, he added a left-handed homer and a great catch in the ninth for good measure.
- You weren’t worried about Freddie Freeman, but he got on base four more times today with two hits and two walks. Again, you’re smart enough to know there was no reason to worry, but it was still nice to see.
- Ender Inciarte picked up a hit and scored a run! Maybe the Pirates really are a Triple-A team.
- Two days in a row without a bullpen problem. Will Smith and Chris Martin have also been out of action two days in a row and should both be available tomorrow should the situation present itself.
- Between Jacob Webb actually hitting Kevin Pillar in the face on Monday and Mitch Keller coming within a whisker of doing it to Bryse Wilson tonight, I’ve seen enough action around the head this week to last a season. Or a lifetime.
- Sooooo Marcell Ozuna. He is having by far the worst season of his career and is badly underperforming even his career averages. Compared to his career averages, his batting average is 61 points lower, his on-base percentage is 45 points lower, his slugging percentage is 103 points lower, his OPS is 148 points lower and his wRC+ is 36 points lower. He looks out in front of every off-speed pitch; Mitch Keller threw him the exact same slider three times in his first-inning at-bat and got three swings and misses. I don’t know what the solution is, but something is clearly broken there.
Former Brave Of The Day:
Kolby Allard entered the game in Texas today with the Rangers trailing the Astros 4-3, threw 1 ⅓ innings of scoreless relief, and ended up with a win after his offense came from behind.
Quote Of The Game:
“We won a game yesterday. If we win today, that’s two in a row. If we win tomorrow, that’s called a winning streak. It has happened before.”
— Lou Brown, Major League II
Get the Big Bear going. Tomorrow’s Pittsburgh starter JT Brubaker is a heavy slider pitcher, so Ozuna managing to turn a couple of those around for hits would be a good start towards waking his bat up.