The Atlanta Braves jumped out to a 1-0 series lead Tuesday with a 9-5 win over the Miami Marlins in Game 1 of the NLDS. The game wasn’t lacking for drama as Marlins pitcher Sandy Alcantara hit Ronald Acuña Jr. in the hip with a 97 mph fastball in the third inning. Acuña of course, took Alcantara deep to lead off the game and became the youngest player in playoff history to hit a leadoff homer.
Acuña clearly wasn’t happy and neither was Brian Snitker after the umpiring crew issued warnings to both teams. The Braves got the last laugh as they rallied from a 4-1 deficit which was capped off by a six run seventh.
The Braves and Acuña still weren’t happy after the game as he clearly felt that it was intentional and it is hard to blame him.
“I don’t think it’s a coincidence, just because every time we’ve played in a series, I’ve been the one who has been hit,” Acuña said through an interpreter. “But I’m not going to give it any thought. I’m just going to keep focusing on winning.”
Acuña also took to social media to further express his feelings on the matter.
They have to hit me , because they don’t get me out— Ronald Acuna Jr (@ronaldacunajr24) October 6, 2020
Alcantara and Marlins manger Don Mattingly maintained that they weren't trying to hit Acuña while speaking with the media after the game. Alcantara did add that “if he’s ready to fight, I’m ready to fight, too.”
This latest event just adds another chapter to the Marlins versus Acuña storyline and will no doubt continue to be a theme through the remainder of the series.
More Braves news from Game 1
After two quiet games in the Wild Card round against the Reds, Atlanta’s offense came to life in Tuesday’s win over the Marlins.
While Acuña’s homer gave the Braves an early buzz, Travis d’Arnaud did most of the heavy lifting going 3-for-4 at the plate including a three-run home run in the seventh that put Atlanta in front for good. Ozzie Albies put on a clinic with this glove including a pair of excellent plays in the fourth inning.
The Braves’ bullpen came up big after Max Fried left the game after throwing just 70 pitches.
Prior to Game 1, the Braves released their roster for the NLDS and added a pair of pitchers in Huascar Ynoa and Bryse Wilson. Catcher William Contreras and infielder Johan Camargo were dropped from the roster to make room for the new additions.
The Cleveland Indians are hopeful that manager Terry Francona will be ready to return for the 2021 season. Francona missed most of the 2020 season due to health related reasons.
The Texas Rangers will reportedly part ways with pitching coach Julio Rangel.
Major League Baseball reinstated Yankees pitcher Domingo German from the restricted list Tuesday. German was added to New York’s 40-man roster but he is ineligible to play in the postseason. German served an 81-game suspension after violating the league’s domestic violence policy.