The Braves beat the Nationals Tuesday night 8-2 as Michael Harris II tied the game with a bases-clearing triple, but Ronald Acuna Jr. busted the game wide open, belting two solo home runs with Orlando Arcia adding another. Atlanta will likely hit 100 wins for the first time since 2003 on the backs of some unexpected contributors, including Rookie of the Year favorites Harris and Spencer Strider.
The latter of which broke MLB’s record for the fastest pitcher to 200 strikeouts, breaking Randy Johnson‘s record. Moreover, the Braves are breaking attendance records and home run records with a franchise-best eight players reaching at least 15 long balls.
With Acuña's two-homer game last night, the Braves now have a franchise-record eight players with at least 15 homers this year. The 2003 and 1966 teams were the only others in club history to have had at least seven players with 15+ HRs.
— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) September 28, 2022
If Adam Duvall didn’t get injured, the Braves would’ve had nine players reach that mark. I digress, though. Atlanta’s home run leaders are Austin Riley (37), Matt Olson (29), Marcell Ozuna (22), Dansby Swanson (22), William Contreras (20), Michael Harris II (19), Travis d’Arnaud (18), and Ronald Acuna Jr. (15).
It’s no secret the Braves live and die by the long ball, leading the National League in home runs (233) and only trailing the Yankees across both leagues. Atlanta trails only the Dodgers in team slugging percentage (.444), but it comes at a cost. The Braves have the third-most strikeouts as a team (1,428). Still, the strategy pays dividends. The Braves have the third-most runs scored this season. If they are to succeed once again in October, they’ll need to watch a lot of balls fly out of the yard.
Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire