Austin Riley’s first home run of the season is a sight to behold.
When Austin Riley hits the baseball well, it travels to the deepest parts of our solar system.
The Atlanta Braves were facing the arch rival New York Mets in the rubber game of a three-game road series. New York won the pitcher’s duel on Friday afternoon off the bat of Yoenis Cesepdes. Atlanta took the second game in extra innings on Saturday afternoon. Then on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball, we got a blowout of a ball game completely in the Braves’ favor.
After surrendering a game-tying home run with one strike left in the ball game yesterday to Marcell Ozuna, the Mets fell off a cliff on Sunday night in primetime. Atlanta had already plated 11 men by the time Riley came up to bat in the top of the sixth inning. What he did to that baseball was something only Greek gods should be capable of. Check out this herculean blast off his bat.
This home run is an example of why Austin Riley made it to the big leagues.
When a lefty is in the batter’s box, we’re used to seeing great hitters from that side of the plate put balls in the seats for years. While right-handed power hitters are nearly as prevalent, it always seems to come across just a tad more special. Riley’s raw power reminds Braves fans of what Evan Gattis used to have in the Atlanta lineup. The good news is Riley can play well in the field.
After a slow start to the season at the plate, the Braves decided to stop striking out and get to work with the bats. To be fair, do you really want to try your luck against a 90 MPH change-up off the hand of two-time reigning NL Cy Young award winner Jacob deGrom? Once the Braves got past deGrom’s turn in the Mets rotation, things started to look up for the promising batting order.
Nights like tonight are why baseball fans are so high on the Braves this season. Some view them as a serious contender to win the NL Pennant, while others think they’ll three-peat in the NL East, possibly getting to their first NLCS since 2001, only to lose to the juggernaut Los Angeles Dodgers. If Riley continues to rake like this, there’s no telling how good this Braves lineup can be.
Should you find Riley’s baseball where you live, please let us know because that thing ain’t landed.