It didn’t take long for baseball’s top prospect, Ronald Acuña, to make his mark. Yesterday he got his first hit, motored from first to third on a hustle play and then scored the tying run in the Braves win. Today he hit his first homer.
It was an upper deck shot off of Homer Bailey in the second inning. Come for the no-doubt-about it tape measure blast, stay for the Braves fan who caught it, grabbing his crap and running the hell out of there with it:
I don’t know where he was going with it. Given that he is an adult with a backpack at a ballgame, I assume he’s a ballhawk/autograph hound, so maybe he was running to put the thing on some memorabilia site. If he was smart — and a good person — however, he’d beeline for the Braves clubhouse entrance to give the ball to Acuña in exchange for some better merch that is not most notable for having Rob Manfred’s name on it.
I’m sure we’ll find out.
UPDATE: Acuña struck again in the eighth inning, doubling to right field and scoring Freddie Freeman to break a 4-4 tie. He then came around and scored to give the Braves a 6-4 lead. He has a single in this game as well, putting him a triple shy of the cycle. Reminder: he’s 20, and this is his second game.
With his team trailing 8-3 to begin the bottom of the ninth inning of Sunday’s game against the Astros, Indians third baseman José Ramirez eventually won a 17-pitch at-bat against closer Ken Giles, ripping a double off of the wall in right field. The Indians would go on to score five runs on seven hits to tie the game against Giles and Hector Rondon. Ramirez almost won the game in his second at-bat of the ninth inning, but first basebamn Yuli Gurriel made a terrific diving catch on a line drive otherwise headed for the right field corner.
Giants first baseman Brandon Belt set a new modern record for the longest at-bat last month, seeing 21 pitches against the Angels’ Jaime Barria. The Astros’ Ricky Gutierrez sfaw 20 pitches from the Indians’ Bartolo Colon on June 26, 1998, which was the previous record. Kevin Bass saw 19 pitches from the Phillies’ Steve Bedrosian in 1988. There have also been five 18-pitch at-bats from Brian Downing, Bip Roberts, Alex Cora, Adam Kennedy, and Marcus Semien.
Sunday’s game wound up going 14 innings. The Astros pulled ahead 9-8 in the top of the 13th on a solo home run from Evan Gattis. However, the Indians’ Yonder Alonso responded with a solo shot of his own in the bottom of the 13th to re-knot the game at 9-9. Greg Allen then lifted a walk-off solo homer in the bottom of the 14th to give the Indians a 10-9 win.
After Sunday’s effort, Ramirez is batting .292/.389/.605 with 15 home runs, 37 RBI, 34 runs scored, and seven stolen bases. According to FanGraphs, his 3.5 Wins Above Replacement ranks third across baseball behind Mike Trout (4.4) and Mookie Betts (4.1). They’re the only players at three wins or above.