Marcell Ozuna went wild on offense and Bryse Wilson was dominant on the mound despite the short notice of the start as the Atlanta Braves secured their third straight division title with an 11-1 demolition of the Miami Marlins. Hat tip to the Phillies who eliminated themselves from the division race after getting swept in a doubleheader with the last place Nationals.
After a thankfully uneventful top of the first inning from Bryse Wilson, the Braves were the first to strike in the bottom half of the inning. After a hard lineout from Ronnie and a groundout from Freddie, Marcell Ozuna came to the plate and promptly deposited an inside fastball over the wall in left to give the Braves an early 1-0 lead.
The Braves would strike again in the bottom of the second inning as Ozzie Albies, as he is known to do, swung at the first pitch he saw from Urena and hit a solo homer of his own to center to extend the Braves lead to 2-0. Ozzie has been raking since he returned from a wrist injury that cost him most of the season, and tonight was no exception.
After that, things quieted down for a while as Bryse Wilson and Jose Urena matched each other with clean innings. However, it was Bryse who was the more dominant between the two which is....not what many expected given that he was pressed into duty with the loss of Cole Hamels for the season with shoulder fatigue. Bryse’s final line on the evening would be 5 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K. Have a night, kid.
Marcell Ozuna would make sure that Wilson’s strong start would be backed up with some proper offense in the bottom of the fifth. After Dansby Swanson and Freddie Freeman each reached base with singles, Ozuna would go on to have an 11 pitch battle of an at-bat with Urena that resulted in him lacing a two-run double that gave the Braves a 4-0 lead.
Josh Tomlin would enter the game in the sixth and this is where Miami started to make a stand as the first batter he faced, Starling Marte, connected for a solo home run to make it a 4-1 Braves lead. The inning would have continued if not for a fantastic play by Austin Riley on a scorcher off the bat of Jesus Aguilar. Aguilar was hilariously not pleased.
Austin Riley robs Jesús Aguilar of a hit.— FOX Sports: Braves (@FOXSportsBraves) September 23, 2020
Jesús Aguilar wants to fight Austin Riley. pic.twitter.com/bYxQgrvPzs
Flash forward to the bottom of the seventh and it was clear that the Braves smelled blood in the water with Urena out of the game as Dansby Swanson connected for a solo shot of his own, his eighth on the season, to extend the Braves lead back to four runs and Ronald Acuna Jr. hit a rocket for a double immediately after that. It was then Freddie Freeman, who had been in a slight funk since the weekend, connected for his twelfth home run of the year and just like that...the Braves were up 7-1.
You would think after a Travis d’Arnaud double play that the scoring would end in the inning...but oh no. Adam Duvall and Ozzie Albies would each reach base on line drive singles before a batted ball from Nick Markakis that the Marlins couldn’t field cleaning gave the Braves another run and an RBI single from Austin Riley pushed the lead all the way to 9-1.
After the Marlins failed to score a run after loading the bases against AJ Minter, the Braves continued the onslaught in the eighth with a ground-rule double from Freddie followed by ANOTHER home run from Marcell Ozuna to make it an 11-1 Braves lead.
Jacob Webb would enter the game in the final frame and after facing four batters....the Braves were division champs once again.