That was fun, wasn’t it?

Austin Riley hit nine miles worth of home runs, Dylan Dodd did something few if any Braves pitchers have ever done, and Travis d’Arnaud didn’t even break a sweat in being the hero we didn’t know we’d need. The Braves claimed the first of a four-game set with the Filthies, 8-5.

Riley has been warming up after a long slumber, lacing four doubles in the Dodgers series. In the bottom of the first, he hit a 1-1 pitch 459 feet into the left-center bleachers with an exit velo of 113.8. His second homer of the game came in the fifth, a 458 foot bomb that was 110.9 off the bat. Even the out he made in the bottom of the eighth was 106 mph off the bat. Sure, he was the first out in the third when the Braves had second a third with nobody out, but that was a questionable check-swing call…and the called third strike in the seventh was annoying AF, as the kids say. Is any rung up on more balls out of the zone than Riley? Anyone, it’s fun to see him coming out of it.

As for Dodd, he retired Trea Turner in three straight at bats, something no Braves pitcher has ever done (I have no statistical evidence to back-up this statement). Turner is a Braves-killer, and I confess to an excessive amount of schadenfreude in this one because it seems like Turner is always 2-3 with a BB and three runs scored against the good guys. Dodd was serviceable in this one, the only real issue being the 445-foot bomb he gave up to another arch-nemesis from Filthadelphia, Bryce Harper. Sure, Alec Bohm hit a 433-foot homer in the top of the second (did he touch home?), but Dodd worked five innings, spared the ‘pen some work, and was either good enough to earn another crack at it or to be sent down so Michael Soroka can make his debut in Oakland on Monday.

While I’m not sure Bohm touched home or not, I know Nick Castellanos did not, thanks to Sean Murphy‘s effort and a good relay from Ronald Acuna Jr. and Ozzie Albies. Trailing 5-4 in the top of the seventh, Brian Snitker turned to AJ Minter…sigh! After getting the first two hitters, he gave up a bunt single to Harper – I don’t like him but he is talented – a single to Castellanos, and then hung a cutter to Kyle Schwarber who laced it into the right-field corner. Minter’s metrics aren’t horrible, but his results are, and thankfully he left the game with the score tied 5-5 thanks to a successful challenge on a play at the plate that gunned down Castellanos.

All of this set the stage for the aforementioned d’Arnaud, who pinch-hit for Michael Harris II in the bottom of the eighth. I was thrilled to see the Filthies turn to a left-handed reliever! Albies singled with one out, Marcell OHzuna hit a ground rule double, and Orlando Arcia walked to load the bases. Snitker turned to d’Arnaud, who laced a 2-0 pitch 110.8 mph thru the hole to plate Albies and the belly-flopping OHzuna, giving the Braves the lead for good. Matt Olson hit a sac fly to provide the 8-5 final.

The Braves will turn to Jared Shuster Friday night against the former Mets righty, Taijuan Walker, who the good guys seem to mash. What could make for a better Friday night than beating the Filthies who are throwing a former Met? First pitch is slated for 7:20 ET.