Kris Bryant went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in his major league debut last Friday afternoon against the Padres, but he’s now batting .444 with a 1.194 OPS through 24 plate appearances. Addison Russell will be hoping for a similar type of turnaround.
Russell finished 0-for-5 with three strikeouts in his Cubs debut on Tuesday night in Pittsburgh, though Chicago still managed to pull out a 9-8 victory.
Russell had a pretty good RBI opportunity in the top of the eighth inning when Starlin Castro singled and Miguel Montero was intentionally walked, but the 21-year-old top prospect lined out to Pirates shortstop Jung Ho Kang. That was Russell’s final at-bat of the night.
Russell started at second base Tuesday and batted ninth. A bit of trivia here: The last — and only — National League position player to bat ninth in his major league debut was Mark Little of the Cardinals in 1998.
Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. hit his 40th home run in today’s 5-4 win over the Philadelphia Phillies. In so doing he become only the third player to hit 40 homers at age 21 or younger, joining Hall of Famers Mel Ott and Eddie Matthews, who hit 42 and 47, respectively, before turning 22. Ott was only 20 in fact.
Home run marks are a dime a dozen this year, of course, so maybe you want to discount Acuña’s accomplishment. Even if you do, though, you can’t discount his wheels. He didn’t have a stolen base this afternoon but he does have 37 on the year and has over a week to swipe three more. If he does he’ll become a member of the exclusive 40/40 club. It’s only current members: Jose Canseco, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and Alfonso Soriano.
The Braves win clinches at least a tie for the NL East title. They’ll clinch the division outright if either they win or the Nationals lose tomorrow.