Braves Sim Season: Acuna blasts two HR, Braves take down MadBum, D-Backs

Drew Lugbauer

The long-awaited day is here.

Through all the bans, social distancing, cancelations, and pure crazy, it’s finally Opening Day… Kind of…

Since regulations are still in place, keeping everyone isolated and sports on the back burner, I took it upon myself to provide whatever coverage I could.

Yes, even if that coverage is on a video game.

As this simulated franchise plays out, I’ll be covering one game a day, starting on Opening Day and continuing until the season ends, whether by World Series win or tragic loss.

Highlights and box scores will be provided as well. Later on in the season when trades and signings are available, we will take to social media to let you, the fans, decide what our team should look like!

While we wait for the real season to kick off, I hope this can be an enjoyable, interactive, and fun project for you all to follow.

Today’s Game

In the spirit of consistency, the lineup will remain the same, and the roster will not change, barring any trades or signings. But, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

This is how the Braves were stacked up against the Diamondbacks:

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Today’s game featured the classic Opening Day matchup of Mike Soroka and newly-Diamondbacked Madison Bumgarner. Given the experience of Bumgarner, the raw talent of Soroka, and the hot bats of both Acuna and Marte, it was anybody’s game before the first pitch was thrown.

Enter Acuna.

I’m almost 100% positive that no one is surprised to see this.

As you can see, the young superstar wasted no time and did what he does best, launching a ball into orbit in the very first at-bat of the game.

No one really knows what will happen in this Matrix of a season we have going on here, but I can assure you one thing; we’ll be seeing a LOT more of that.

Game Recap

Atlanta saw a warm day in virtual Chase Field; warm enough to feel the hot, pixelated Arizona sun but not too hot that it hindered their imaginary performance.

Atlanta’s Maple Maddux saw trouble very early on, giving up two runs in the first inning, but he held it together for the rest of the game in purely vintage Soroka form, earning his first win of the season, allowing only 2 ER, 4 hits and 3 K’s in 6 1/3 innings.

Bumgarner got shaken by not one, but TWO moonshots off the bat of Acuna. The Braves took that energy, built on it, and pulled out an impressive road win on Opening Day.

Box Score: Atlanta

Here’s how the rest of the Atlanta offense fared against rodeo champ Mason Saunders:

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The Braves saw quite the performances by their newest additions. Two of the 4 RBI’S came off the heels of Ozuna and D’Arnaud. The once questioned acquisitions are proving to pull their weight in the lineup; it’s still very early on to say they’ve earned their keep, but you have to admit that it’s looking very positive after today.

Box Score: Arizona

Arizona’s bats were red-hot to start the game, sending the home crowd into hysterics and starting a wave of momentum that should’ve carried them to an easy win.

Sadly for them, a win against Soroka is never easy.

 

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Marte stayed true to his 2019 breakout form early on. He smacked a first-inning triple and gave the D-Backs the upper hand. It proved to be a huge hit for the team, but it was the only one they could muster. The D-Backs were stagnant after their high first inning, giving the Braves plenty of opportunities to bounce back and steal the win.

Bumgarner posted a similar line to Maple Maddux, tossing 4 K’s, 2 ER and 3 hits in 5 innings of work. He earned a no-decision with Mike Leake getting the loss after a forgettable sixth inning.

What Happens Next?

Game two will be Sunday, as Mad Max Fried takes on Arizona’s Zac Gallen. Highlights, recaps and box scores will be provided at the end of the game, right here on SportsTalkATL.

In the meantime, if you would like to see a stream of future games, feel free to reach out or leave a comment down below.

Today was the perfect way to start a season. Now, let’s get back out there Sunday and win another one.

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