The Atlanta Braves had one of the greatest nights on offense in not just franchise history, but also in the long and storied history of the National League as well. While the Marlins also had another big night at the plate, the Braves had one that was too big to compare as they ended up winning the game by twenty whole, entire, full runs — 29-9.
I’m going to get the negatives out of the way early. They mostly involved Tommy Milone, who somehow found himself as the beneficiary of another enormous inning at the plate from the Braves. Despite heading to the mound in the third inning with a nine-run lead, Tommy Milone finished the night with eight earned runs to his name and he didn’t even make it through the fourth inning. This time, he didn’t have the understandable excuse of having hopped straight off a plane and onto a baseball diamond during a pandemic. This was just a plain-old bad performance from Milone.
It also didn’t help Milone’s cause that Grant Dayton gave up a double and a sacrifice fly to put those final two earned runs on his line. Simply put, it was another rough night for a Braves starter and it’s indicative of the struggles that the Braves are very likely going to have to keep on just dealing with as the calendar switches from September into October. There is no reason for this game to have even gotten as close as it did as soon as it did, but it happened and Atlanta’s major weakness was on clear display for everybody to see this evening.
Let’s talk about the positives now, and let me tell you: There are a bunch of positives.
- The Braves responded to being shut out by the Marlins yesterday by breaking the franchise record and setting the National League record by scoring 29 runs. Twenty-nine. T-W-E-N-T-Y N-I-N-E. One less than 30! They did this in a single game!
- This included Adam Duvall hitting three home runs in one game for the second time in the span of a week. Yes, it happened again. The third homer was a grand slam that made it 29 runs for the Braves. He made franchise history on his own, tonight. He’s been on a binge.
- The Braves scored 11 runs in the second inning. It matched the biggest inning in team history since the Braves smacked up the Mets for 11 back on April 7, 2004. The Braves won that game 18-10 and the score was just as gaudy for this one. Either way, the Braves went into this inning down by two after getting beaten 8-0 yesterday and then proceeded to have the biggest fish fry of all time.
- The run-scoring explosion came close to never even happening. As Ender Inciarte hit a sac fly to tie the game at two, the run was nearly taken off the board after Adam Duvall made a strange decision to try to move up to third. The Marlins were convinced that he was tagged out at third. The replay officials weren’t convinced, so the run stood, the inning continued, and the rest was history.
- Ronald Acuña Jr. finished the night 3-for-4 with three walks. He “only” had three RBIs tonight, but they all came on a ball below the zone that usually gets golfed into the air for a flyball out. Ronald Acuña is not a usual baseball player. Instead, he sent it 453 feet at 111.5 mph off the bat. It’s so nice to have him back in the lineup.
- It’s also nice to have Ozzie Albies back in the lineup. He announced his return to the lineup by smacking a 424-foot dinger in his second at-bat returning from injury. This was also his second at-bat of the second inning. This was a special night.
- In addition to all of the other history that was made, Freddie Freeman picked up the 1500th hit of his career. All 1500 have come with him wearing a Braves uniform. Since this was a historic massacre, Freddie Freeman contributed to the cause by making his 1500th career hit a home run. Of course he did, because that’s all the Braves did tonight.
Here’s the roll call for RBIs:
- Adam Duvall: 9
- Freddie Freeman: 6
- Travis d’Arnaud and Ronald Acuña Jr.: 3, each
- Ozzie Albies: 2
- Ender Inciarte, Marcell Ozuna, Austin Riley: 1, each.
The Braves also picked up three of those runs on a play that basically summed up the entire story of this game — that is, if the home runs somehow didn’t do it for you. In the fourth inning, Freddie Freeman hit a grounder to second that would’ve likely ended up turning into a double play or at least one out on a normal night. Instead, Jazz Chisholm booted the ball after Acuña screened his view of the ball as he was trotting across the basepaths. Things got worse as Monte Harrison ended up being the fielder to get the ball, and he threw it to his team’s on-deck circle. The Braves scored three runs on a grounder.
It was just that kind of night for the Braves. Last week’s Ozuna-Duvall power surge pales in comparison to what the Braves were able to do with their bats tonight. It was a surreal-but-also-incredible game to witness, and I’m still having trouble processing it even as I’m recapping what happened in the game. Even though the Brewers beat the Tigers 19-0 earlier today, it’s still absolutely crazy to imagine that the Braves would somehow top that and easily top it by scoring ten more runs than Milwaukee did.
We have no idea how this season is going to shake out for the Braves, but they just ensured that you’ll never forget the 2020 team. If you score 29 runs in a game, you are immediately in legendary territory and this is going to be another one of those games that today’s fans will be telling fans of the next generation all about.