The Braves are 67-51. On this day in 1991, in their miracle season, they were 61-52. So we’re starting to keep the drama out of this season. We might just be a good squad.
We’re 10-3 against the Marlins. We’re 12-6 against the Mets. 6-5 against the Phils. 9-7 against the Nats. A big reason why we are where we are is that we’ve taken care of business against the division. Fingers crossed.
Last night, Anibal Sanchez didn’t have his best stuff. In 5 innings, he gave up 5 runs, 4 earned, though the error that led to the unearned run was his own. You shouldn’t hit people in the back, Anibal. And then Biddle got hit pretty hard in the 6th, though he recovered to pitch a scoreless 7th. Jonny Venters and AJ Minter both contributed scoreless innings, but it was what happened on the other side of the ball that’s important.
Listen, what else can you say about Ronald Acuna that hasn’t already been said? He can do everything. He’s got an exceptional eye, huge power, huge speed, a strong arm, and it’s becoming clear he’s your centerfielder of the future. Well, add lead-off hitter extraordinaire to the list. He’s ambushed 3 pitches into lead-off home runs these last 3 games, and then for good measure, he put the game out of hand by sitting back on a change-up and beating it into the right-field bleachers for a 3-run bomb. But like I said, what can you say?
He wasn’t the only one. Every starter had a hit. 4 home runs out of the first 3 spots in the lineup. Charlie Culberson and his .835 OPS had a classic, wall-scraping left-center field home run that he’s so known for. The first 5 spots in the lineup have at least .800 OPSes and 115 wRC+. If you plugged Charlie into the Keystone, you’d have 6. Flowers is above league average when it comes to creating runs.
Kevin Gausman goes tonight. And for the game thread, Smitty’s going to be bringing you the Tennessee football season preview.