Ronald Acuña Jr. officially ended his slump vs. the Philadelphia Phillies.
Acuña got off to a dreadful start at the top of the Braves’ batting order to start the 2020 MLB season. He was striking out more than every other at-bat. The most gifted player on Atlanta’s roster was not seeing the ball well at all at the end of July. Well, once the walks started to amass, it was only a matter of time before the ball started flying out of the yard again for him.
After getting shut out 5-0 on Saturday night, the Braves won Game 1 of their doubleheader with the Philadelphia Phillies, 5-2. Acuña was 1-4 at the plate, but did have a towering two-run homer off Deolis Guerra in the top of the fifth inning. It was such a smooth stroke, we are still in awe of the sound it made coming off his bat.
Ronald Acuña Jr. had more in store for us in Game 2 of the doubleheader.
While a two-run bomb and a Game 1 victory to get the four-game series tied at a game apiece would have been satisfactory, satisfactory doesn’t cut it when you’re arguably the most talented player in the National League. Acuña went to town on the Phillies in Game 2 of the doubleheaders. He went 4-4 at the plate with a pair of home runs and three runs batted in. The guy is on fire now.
In the top of the fifth inning in Game 2, Acuña went opposite field on a solo blast off right-hander Spencer Howard. Close to 30 minutes later, Acuña went yard to right field again, this time off right-hander Trevor Kelley in the top of the sixth inning, plating third baseman Austin Riley. Atlanta won this one going away to the tune of 8-0 to improve to 11-6 on the season.
Once Acuña puts it all together at the top of the Braves’ batting order, Atlanta might have a team finally capable of contending for a World Series championship. Though the team is painfully thin with its starting rotation after Mike Soroka’s torn right Achilles’ tendon, the bullpen looks great and the lineup is as deep as it has ever been. The Braves are dark horse, but they have a chance.
It’s safe to say Acuña is not in a slump anymore for the Braves, so good luck with that, baseball.