The legend of Carlos Beltran is growing to epic proportions. The 36-year-old entered the 2013 post-season with a 1.154 OPS in 151 post-season plate appearances. He hit his 15th career playoff home run in Game 1 on Thursday, tying Babe Ruth for the eighth-most all-time.
Beltran passed the Bambino with his 16th career playoff home run with a solo shot to right-center off of Pirates reliever Mark Melancon to lead off the top of the eighth inning, tying the game at 3-3. Beltran took a cutter for a called strike before turning on a 93 MPH four-seamer.
Melancon has been the Pirates’ most reliable reliever all year, finishing up the regular season with a 1.39 ERA in 71 innings.
The Braves and Marlins have some bad blood, especially concerning Ronald Acuña Jr. Around this time last year, José Ureña intentionally threw at Acuña in the first at-bat of a game, leading to a benches-clearing incident. Acuña was hit on the elbow and exited the game but was ultimately fine. Acuña’s crime? Just being good at baseball. At the time, he had homered in five consecutive games, including three games against the Marlins.
In 2019, the first-place Braves and last-place Marlins have mostly minded their own business. The Marlins, however, can certainly keep a grudge it appears. With his first pitch in the bottom of the first inning Tuesday night in Atlanta, Marlins starter Elieser Hernández hit Acuña in the hip.
Home plate umpire Alan Porter issued warnings to both dugouts. Braves manager Brian Snitker wasn’t happy about his side having received a warning for no reason, and was ejected by first base umpire Mark Wegner. Hernández would hit Adeiny Hechavarría with a pitch in the fourth inning — seemingly unintentionally — and was not ejected. Other than that, there were no more incidents and cooler heads prevailed.
Acuña finished 1-for-4 in the Braves’ 5-1 win. Freddie Freeman hit two home runs and knocked in four runs.