Braves

Braves: Ronald Acuña closing in on the 40/40 mark

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Yesterday wasn’t a night to remember for Julio Teheran and the Braves, as the Phillies homered four times in route to a 9-5 win in the series finale. However, there were a few positives that came out of last night. Ronald Acuña reached on an error in the first inning and proceeded to steal second and third, pushing him to 36 steals on the year. Then the Braves 21-year-old superstar homered later in the game, giving him 39 longballs on the season. Acuña is now one home-run and four steals away from becoming the fifth player to join the 40/40 club – the first since Alfonso Soriano – and he will easily be the youngest ever to do it. The Braves have 14 games left on their schedule, and I’d be shocked if he does not reach the milestone at this point.

Ozzie joins rare company

Ronald Acuña may be the young star receiving all of the attention, and rightfully so, but do not forget about Ozzie Albies. The 22-year-old became the 11th player in MLB history to have 20+ home runs and 40+ doubles in his first two major league seasons.

He now has 22 bombs and 40 doubles on the season. The improvement he’s made in his game after an abysmal 2018 second half is one of the many glaring bright spots for the Braves this year.

Julio Teheran falters

Teheran has been so damn good for the Braves this season. Coming into last night, he had a 2.67 ERA since May, but this was not one of his better performances. He only made it through four innings, giving up five earned runs – all coming via the longball. As of now, it looks like it is going to come down to Julio Teheran or Mike Foltynewicz for that final starting spot in the playoff rotation. I think for the first time all year, Folty might have an edge in that race.

Anthony Swarzak has lost it

The Braves bullpen was in shambles earlier in the season, and Anthopoulos was looking under every rock for help. He found it in Anthony Swarzak, who was an absolute superstar in Atlanta for a couple of months. In his first 21 appearances, he had a 0.42 ERA, was averaging over a strikeout per inning, and opponents were only hitting .129 off of him. However, in his last 17 opportunities, he has a 9.95 ERA, and opponents are batting a gaudy .379 against him. This is the time of the year where you thank him profusely for his services, but he will not be making the Braves 25-man playoff roster.

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