Braves beat Marlins 5-4, but Acuña leaves injured

How many times this year are we going to talk about a game where the baseball itself just doesn’t matter? Whether it’s games not mattering because of the big picture of the team or an injury during the game or an injury off the field in the case of Mike Soroka’s season, it just feels like 2021 is an entire season where the baseball games aren’t even pertinent. 

Once again, Ronald Acuña Jr. suffered an injury scare in the middle of a game today. He was carted off the field after attempting to go for a catch in the fifth inning, and this one looked like the worst of all of his injuries. Obviously we’re still hoping for the best—if anyone can come out of this unscathed it’s probably Ronald—but it looked awful. 

If Ronald is injured for any significant length of time, that would end the 2021 season for all intents and purposes. The Braves are already struggling for offense with Travis d’Arnaud injured and Dansby Swanson struggling. 

The Braves did beat the Marlins 5-4 on Saturday to move back to .500 on the season, but taking the team leader in just about every major offensive category away from this lineup would be a hammer blow. Brian Snitker said they won’t have any more information until the morning, making Saturday night a sleepless one for Braves fans everywhere. 

As for the game, it was pretty much standard operating procedure for the 2021 Braves. Freddie Freeman stayed red hot with three RBIs including what ended up being a game-winning home run in the fifth. Guillermo Heredia knocked in a run and had a good time with swords. 

The starting pitching from Max Fried was erratic, but not a total disaster overall. Chris Martin and Luke Jackson were elite, and Will Smith made things interesting in the bottom of the ninth before holding on for the save. 

All things considered, this team roughly is what it is. Given all of the injuries and underachieving, it is appropriately a .500 ballclub. But it’s a .500 team with Ronald Acuña Jr. in the fold. It’s a .500 team with all of the times he has gotten the Braves out of jail with an incredible night at the plate or a great play in the field. And for all the times where we have wondered what this team would look like without its superstar right fielder, we might be about to get our answer. 

And as with everything else involving the 2021 Braves, there’s really only one thing to do. We just have to hope for the best, but brace for the worst.

53 thoughts on “Braves beat Marlins 5-4, but Acuña leaves injured”

  1. For the sake of the board, I won’t get in an argument with this Junebug character.

    Perhaps it’s denial, and it’s definitely that we’ve seen Acuna seemingly suffer catastrophic injuries only to have made it through, but I’m hopeful that this isn’t as serious as it looks. I still remember my day being ruined when he slipped on the bag in Boston.

    But I agree with Alan that this would be the death knell to the season.

  2. No words.

  3. So what now? Do we bring up the likes of Waters and Pache and let them work through it? Let the young pitchers just throw and see what we have? I would rather see the young outfielders instead of Almonte and Heredia if we are mailing it in.

  4. 5 — Nah, neither Pache nor Waters are ready and I don’t think it would be helpful to stunt their growth.

    But you do have to consider trading your guys who are upcoming free agents.

  5. @7

    Correct, but at the same time, if there are young players who could be everyday contributors (or key starters/bullpen pieces) in 2022 and beyond whose development is aided by playing, they should be getting the reps. Relatively-consequence-free games will also provide a final chance for guys like Kyle Wright.

    If there is good news here, it is that we are in 2021, where, if all goes well for RAJr, he should be back in the lineup somewhere in the vicinity of the first three weeks of the regular season. The question is when he will be back to the point where he “trusts” the repaired ligament, which is why it’s fair to expect him back in the lineup in April, but perhaps not returning to being “himself” as we know it until mid-summer 2022 at the earliest — or perhaps 2023.

  6. Johan Camargo is killing it at Gwinnett and probably gets promoted. Probably the best option is to see if he can reclaim his 2018 magic at third base and move Riley to the outfield.

    My guess is that AA doesn’t actually sell unless the Braves completely collapse the rest of the month without Acuña. But if he does, then yeah, it would make sense to move Morton and Smyly and finally give Wilson and Wright an uninterrupted chance in the rotation without putting them on the shuttle every time they have a bad start.

  7. It is the perfect time to promote Waters and see what he can do. In fact, he was not in the lineup last night. Might be on his way to Miami. Waters might be a guy who benefits from no one having a book on him yet. Using anyone else in place of Acuna would be a case of “been there done that”.

    If Waters does anything positive and the Braves can add a real major leaguer in a trade (e.g. Gallo, Bryant, etc…) then maybe there’s still a chance. Of course, at this point, adding this bat will be especially expensive and painful.

    These last two games the Braves have been playing more like we expected them to play all along. Key hits, adequate SP. excellent relief, beating the Marlins. We’ll get Ynoa and D’Arnaud back. Guys like Contreras, Camargo, and Pache (and Wright and Wilson) may yet have something to contribute.

  8. Sad day.

    To paraphrase Jonathan Richman (and Galaxie 500), “Don’t let our youth go to waste.”

  9. This sucks. Worst part of this is that I’m still going to watch every day knowing this is not the 2021 team.

  10. Braves can still add a bat (or 2) and a reliever as long as they prioritize team control. The one thing you definitely do not do is pull up any prospects before they are ready.

  11. I agree that we shouldn’t call up any prospects before they’re ready. But the Braves probably won’t and probably shouldn’t trade the assets necessary to get two bats and a reliever with team control. I think our best hope is that guys like Camargo and others can catch so much lightning in a bottle that the CIA starts investigating us for having alien technology.

  12. I love the Braves – and this news is devastating on several levels. Man, to see Acuna with tears in his eyes getting carried out was horrible. Gut wrenching.

    Maybe not a popular opinion – but looking at this strictly from a business standpoint and with no emotion – I don’t want to short circuit 2022 by investing in the 2021 team this year. ESPECIALLY at this point.

    Let’s resign FF. And trade the few pieces of veteran value that we have (unless we plan on resigning them for 2022).

    I’d also like to give a few young arms some extra starts this year – – and let them work through the maturity process.

    This season has been snakebit from the outset it seems. Let’s not let it cost us 2 years, you know?

  13. Poll: Who gets called up for today’s game?
    A. Camargo
    B. Waters
    C. Pache
    D. Jacob Webb

  14. Wasn’t Waters out of the lineup yesterday? Agree with Camargo but we really need an outfielder.

  15. Whoever gets called up would have had to be on a plane to Miami last night. Waters is the only position player who could have done that since he was not in the lineup.

  16. On the other hand, Waters is supposed to be in the Futures game so he could be on the way to Colorado.

    According to mlb.com, Camargo is on the roster.

  17. Should’ve known they wouldn’t do anything drastic for one game before the break. After the break, I’ll bet something different happens.

  18. We heard the drumming like thunder
    We saw the cloud rise at dawn.
    Then came the rain, while we watched and prayed in vain;
    Then all was still, all was gone

    Once there were trees and a river,
    Once there was grass where you stand;
    Once there were songs about rights instead of wrongs,
    Once was the time of man.

  19. Well I guess there was no faking it.
    Oh and Rob I am not a character, just a person who knows and played the game ten times better than you.

  20. Nice, Alex.

    Rob knows baseball. I cannot attest to his skill.

    The angst is less than I expected. Ronald will be back. If there is a tomorrow, he is part of it.

  21. Send us your B-Ref page, Juneybug.

    As for me, I had about 12 ABs for the worst college baseball program in Florida. I hope Juneybug still allows me to have an opinion on the ole game of roundball.

  22. @27 I actually don’t think he is, which is even worse. If he is, then I offer a Fredi-ian tip of my cap to you, Juneyburg.

  23. Braves will be under .500 at the break.
    Please get anything of value and sell.

    Oh and please stop using defensive shifts, you suck at them.

  24. I’d love to know that somewhere out there Chief uses “Moonlight Graham” as the alias no one actually believes. My unbelievable alias is Biff Pocoroba.

  25. Sell off Tomlin for a two liter and a bag of chips. Predictably giving up runs after getting back in the game

  26. Hey look…a hit against the shift. Whoever draws these up should be out of a job.

  27. How many more games in a row can Chip say Rojas is following in the foot steps of Martin Prado? Does he realize that must of us watch every game? Get some new material already

  28. I wonder who Chip thinks his audience is. He often refers to players from the 1990s teams as if assuming that the audience will recognize them. I suppose most will, but those teams were 20-30 years ago now. There are times he does that for earlier players & teams (say, the 1970s Big Red Machine) that very few fans not eligible for AARP will remember. I suppose he’ll turn off those of us who do remember if he identifies every such reference, but I often find myself wondering how many viewers don’t understand what he’s talking about.

  29. Roundball is basketball. I am not trolling you. I wouldn’t waste my time. You really are of zero importance to me. You accused someone of not being hurt when all the evidence indicated he was. An other feels he should have loafed. We have more than an adequate amount of loafing and wrong assumptions in this country. Accuracy should be what everyone strives for. That requires effort rather than laziness, which is in short supply.
    I am 78 and run a highly successful business. I speak three languages. Now my incredible wife has her Doctorate in Medicine and speaks five languages including sign language that she learned during ten years working at the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School. All of that is of no importance, if your respect and caring for the planet is neglected. And next summer we plan to move to Amsterdam or Australia.

    On a somber note, I don’t think Atlanta will break 500 this year. If Ronald had to get a most serious injury, this would be the year. He will come back as good as ever. This injury does not normally rob an athlete of speed.

  30. The announcers are trying to cast hope for the second half. They almost got me. No, PAUL, things are hopeless.

  31. Wish I could blame today on the loss of Ronald but the team today looks more like what we’ve seen all season. Giving up 7 runs is not a winning formula no matter who is in the batting order. I guess we have a decent bullpen with the lead, but horrible for catching up from behind. Tomlin needs to go. As soon as Touki or Huascar can come back, they need to take over the long relief job.

  32. Yep, it is pretty hopeless this year. It was sort of hopeless before Ronnie got hurt. Now it’s impossible. It will be interesting to see what they do at the deadline. I’m not sure what selling would really do. The team would be totally not watchable. I could see buying a long term player like Richard Rodriguez or even a shorter term OF like Haniger. But, IMO, rentals should be absolutely out of the question. That is a waste of prospect capital.

  33. @46 Tomlin needs to be released after the game today. He has been worthless all season. However, Bryse Wilson should take his place. He has earned a spot on the MLB roster. He has been mishandled all season by being on the AAA shuttle.

  34. What say you, folks: is Kyle Wright’s floor a 5th starter? I’d say Bryse Wilson’s is, but I wonder what people will say about Wright.

  35. @49 I think Wilson could be a decent 5th starter/swingman out of the bullpen. However, I think this shuttle situation is ruining his confidence. I hate it for these kids.

    I honestly don’t know what to think about Wright. I think he would be better served in another organization. A change of scenery sort of thing. He might be a good “throw in” type of player in a trade. He has talent that has never been tapped in the Braves organization.

    NOt sure if anyone is listening but Snitker just said that Ian Anderson is having a shoulder issue and may go on the IL. This has been the season from hell for the Braves. What else can go wrong?

  36. Goooooood gooooooosh. Things are very bleak.

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