By far the best part of that game is it was what we should’ve had last year. When the Braves busted open a pinata full of runs against the Marlins last year in a 29-9 win, it was in front of an empty ballpark. There was nobody in the stands to enjoy the sheer ridiculousness of what was happening. It’s always so much better when you can see the looks on people’s faces while something mind-blowing is happening.
Tonight, we were given exactly what the 2020 season took away from us.
The Braves beat the Pirates 20-1, and that really was the score. They hit two grand slams, and it somehow accounted for less than half of the runs in the game. They scored in every inning except the third. Eight different players recorded an RBI and nine had a hit. Ian Anderson was great even though he didn’t need to be.
And most of all, people actually got to see it in person.
- Twenty runs! Twenty! For the second consecutive season, in fact.
- The Braves became the first team in baseball history to hit seven home runs in a game with two grand slams. Any time you can do something that nobody has done in a sport that’s 150 years old, it’s pretty special.
- Marcell Ozuna had a really good at-bat for his home run.He worked the count to 2-2, fouled off a pair of two-strike pitches, then golfed a curveball over the left field wall. It’s slow progress for him right now, but hopefully that gets him going.
- Austin Riley now has a .310 batting average and a .914 (!!) OPS after tonight. Everything came together for him at exactly the right time and it’s paying dividends. Lineup construction comments after a game where you scored three touchdowns are a bit dumb, but he might find himself in the top third of the lineup sooner than later.
- The Braves have hit seven grand slams this season now, and they’ve come from seven different players. The only way this could be funnier is if Freddie Freeman still didn’t have one in his career and he was just watching everyone else hit one seemingly every week.
- The Braves are averaging 20 runs per game with Kevan Smith in the lineup this season. He’s the X-factor.
- When you give Ian Anderson 20 runs of support, he’s pretty tough to beat. He could’ve worked with two tonight though the way he was throwing.
- Josh Tomlin caught a comebacker and doubled off a runner, because of course he did. Everything went right tonight, and that’s putting it lightly.
- Dansby Swanson has homered in back-to-back games. Is this that three week stretch of the season where he becomes the Bullet Bill from Mario Kart and goes nuts before inevitably getting blueshelled back into a slump as soon as it ends? It looks like he might be having that kind of stretch.
- The bullpen did not cough up a 20-run lead. At least we know there’s a limit.
- Somebody somewhere got very mad about how much the Braves were swinging with a double-digit lead in the eighth inning. I don’t know who, but someone somewhere did, and that’s a good thing. Forget the unwritten rules, hit dingers.
- There were 11 baseballs hit at least 103 MPH off the bat in this game, and all of them were off Atlanta bats. That’ll play.
- The Braves erased their -19 run differential in one night. The win-loss record might not be back to .500, but the pythagorean win-loss record is now.
- Error 404. No negatives found tonight.
Former Brave Of The Day:
I feel like giving it to Chasen Shreve would just be mean, so I’ll give it to Alex Wood. Six innings of two-run baseball against the Dodgers is a great performance, even if he did end up on the wrong side of a 2-1 decision.
Quote Of The Game:
“At home they call me big Al, and I hit dingers.”
Make it a game of blackjack and score 21 this time.