Zero National League players homered three times in a game throughout the first 108 seasons of baseball at Fenway Park.
Marcell Ozuna and Adam Duvall just did it in a little over 24 hours.
It doesn’t matter that the Red Sox have decided to pick up high school gym teachers and guys from LA Fitness to pitch this season, it’s still an incredible number. The Braves have hit 55 home runs this season, and eight (14.5%) of them were hit by just Duvall and Ozuna over the last three days.
Not a bad exclamation point to put on the first sweep in Boston since 2002.
- At no point in the game did it feel like the Braves were going to lose. Call it a testament to the offense; call it an indictment on Boston’s pitching. Those circles overlapped a lot during the series. But the deficits of both 3-0 and 5-3 just felt like bumps in the road rather than something that would derail the night. And the best part? Multi-run deficits don’t feel like problems even without Ronald Acuña Jr. and Ozzie Albies in the lineup. Get them back and we might start spotting teams four runs in the first inning.
(If Robbie Erlin, Josh Tomlin or Tommy Milone are reading this…that was a joke)
- The entire bullpen was outstanding tonight but nobody had a bigger sequence than Darren O’Day. After Brian Snitker tried to light the rally on fire by letting Erlin face the top of the order three times, Erlin came in with one of the fire extinguishers Sean Newcomb hasn’t broken yet to keep the game close. O’Day retired three out of the four batters he faced and only let one of the inherited runners score. As they might say in Boston, his slider was wicked tonight.
- The other big play from the middle innings tonight that will fly under the radar was Freddie Freeman’s fourth inning scoop. Erlin found a way to throw two changeups on one pitch—one to Michael Chavis at the plate and one to Freeman at first. Freeman dug it out though and the ensuing home run by Jackie Bradley Jr. plated one run instead of two. Sometimes it’s all about the little things.
- Austin Riley: hotter than a dancing bobcat.
- It might be time to let Tyler Matzek start some games. He cemented his status as one of the greatest pitchers in franchise history tonight simply by retiring Alex Verdugo in a high leverage spot. At minimum, Matzek could be a good bulk guy to insert after Erlin just goes through the lineup one time.
- The Braves are 10-10 on the road after starting 4-8 away from Truist Park. This team is taking that old “Play .500 on the road and dominate at home” adage very literally.
- Robbie Erlin cannot face the same batter three times in a game. Not tonight, not ever. His stuff barely survives the lineup twice. There was a perfect chance to remove him from the game when he retired the bottom of the lineup for a second time to end the fourth, but Snitker got greedy and tried to steal another inning. In response, the Red Sox stole a run. It didn’t matter because Duvall and Ozuna are just really awesome at hitting baseballs; it still should lead to an Art Howe/Billy Beane scene involving Alex Anthopolous and Snitker.
- Ender Inciarte hit the baseball 572 feet tonight. In total. As in, all four of his balls in play combined traveled a shorter distance than two medium depth flyouts. I’m reasonably confident that with a metal bat and a batting practice toss Ozuna could park one 572 feet. I’d like to see Paul Byrd and Kelly Crull try to hunt it down.
- The Braves have to face someone other than the Boston Red Sox starting on Friday.
- There’s a reasonable chance Erlin could be starting game three of a best-of-three series come the first week of October. Good luck sleeping tonight!
Former Brave Of The Day:
Remember #JaceOnBase? Well tonight it was #JaceRoundsTheBases. Peterson hit a pinch-hit two-run home run for the Brewers tonight in an 8-5 victory over the Tigers.
Quote Of The Game:
“There are two places in the league — first place and no place.”
– Tom Seaver
Enjoy the off day before the penultimate (!) homestand of the season starts.