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May 25 2018, 03:00 | Van Peters
Braves Prospect Ronald Acuna's First Career Homer Was An Absolute Moonshot
Acuna was greeted in the dugout by the traditional silent treatment and walked nearly the entire length of the dugout, exchanging phantom high-fives, before his teammates pounced to celebrate.
In looking at recent history, I think I have found a season that can be a more tempered approach to expectations, yet still allow for Acuna's incredible ability to flash for the Atlanta Braves this season. The Braves' ace has been sharp in three straight starts, and he is carrying a 4.00 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP to go with a 1-1 record in 27 innings logged.
The Reds begin a three-game interleague series at Minnesota today. If he's in the lineup Thursday, he'll face Reds right-hander Homer Bailey (0-3, 3.68 ERA), who is winless in five starts this season yet has thrown two no-hitters in the majors. Freeman has driven in 76 runs in 133 career games against the Phillies. "Batting, fielding, running the bases - he makes the club better".
Aaron Nola will get the nod for the sixth time of the season, targeting his third victory.
Newcomb faced the Reds on August 20 of last season, pitching five shutout innings during an 8-1 Braves win.
His most recent start against them was April 25, 2014, a 5-4 loss in which he gave up five runs over six innings. Freddie Freeman is 6 for 19 with four RBI's against Nola, while Nick Markakis is 5 for 22, and Ender Inciarte is 6 for 23.
Albies, who is hitting.288/.333/.635 and carries a 161 wRC+ that's 21st in the majors and fourth at the position behind the Cubs'Javier Baez (186), A's Jed Lowrie (181) and Mets' Asdrubal Cabrera (170), has hit an MLB-best 10 doubles, eight home runs and a triple.
Many have visions of a Mike Trout-esque season from 2012 (.326 average, 30 home runs, 49 stolen bases).
"I didn't know what to think when I got the call to the big leagues", Acuna Jr. said through an interpreter upon arriving to the ballpark. Aaron Nola has conceded two or fewer runs in each start this season, and he has limited the Braves to only three runs in 11.1 innings this season. Speaking of Newcomb, he gave up all four runs on five hits while walking three and striking out seven, not factoring in the decision.