Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds

Look: Reds nearly let Ronald Acuña Jr. steal home before this pitch was thrown

Get a load of this gargantuan lead Ronald Acuña Jr. got on Cincinnati Reds starter Luis Castillo!

If there was ever an opportunity for Atlanta Braves right fielder Ronald Acuña Jr. to steal home, he should have done so on Cincinnati Reds right-hander Luis Castillo Sunday afternoon.

Runs were hard to come by for the most part in the series finale along the Banks of the Ohio River. Cincinnati would walk off on the Braves in the bottom of the ninth after the Atlanta bullpen blew Charlie Morton’s gem of a pitching performance. Well before Cincinnati would win its first game at home in a few weeks 4-3, Acuña may regret not swiping home on this 3-2 pitch in the fifth inning.

The Athletic’s C. Trent Rosecrans shared this photo of how big of a lead Acuña got off third base.

He was closer to home than he was to third base, which begs to question: Why not steal home?

Ronald Acuña Jr. should have stolen home on Luis Castillo in the fifth inning

From the looks of Rosecrans’ photograph, Acuña was easily two-thirds of the way down the line before Castillo threw this pitch. It was a full count offering with two outs in the top of the fifth inning to Braves first baseman Matt Olson. Atlanta was up 1-0 at that point, thanks to the first of two Marcell Ozuna big flies on the day. Morton still had not given up a base hit at this time either.

Acuña went 2-for-4 with a walk on the afternoon, but never was able to put a run across for the Braves. All three of their runs came by way of the solo homer, two off Ozuna’s bat and one towering moonshot from Michael Harris II to tie it up in the top of the ninth. Stealing home with two outs and Olson at the plate is a risky proposition, but still … it would have been so awesome!

Atlanta fell to 46-34 on the season with this Reds defeat. They may have lost a game in the NL East standings to the New York Mets, but Atlanta went 4-2 during its brief six-game road trip. However, the bullpen has been suspect over the last week or so, especially with closer Kenley Jansen going on IL with an irregular heartbeat. Next up for the Braves are the St. Louis Cardinals…

Had Acuña stolen home on Castillo, there is no way Atlanta would have lost this game to the Reds.

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