Braves: The 20 best moments of 2020

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It’s been probably the strangest year in baseball history, and baseball is pretty weird by nature. There were some very high highs and some very low lows, but Atlanta’s season is still a success to me. Even though it didn’t end the way we all wanted, there were some unforgettable moments. These aren’t in any order, and I’m sure I’m forgetting a few, but some shine above the others.

 

Adam Duvall’s unreal September

Adam Duvall was considered by some to be a throwaway in a trade with the Reds, and he’s been otherworldly hot at times for the Braves. September was his best stretch yet.

 

 

Marcell Ozuna’s 3 HR game (9/1)

Marcell Ozuna hit three homers in this game against the Red Sox, then Adam Duvall did it the very next day. That’s never happened in MLB history — until now.

 

Adam Duvall’s 3 HR Game (9/2)

Duvall’s unreal September mentioned above included an absolute torture of the Red Sox — this game was one of his best.

 

 

Ronald’s Leadoff HR in the NLDS (10/6)

Acuña and the Marlins aren’t fond of each other, especially after what happened after this at bat. No worries, he can just point to the scoreboard as he continues to own Miami.

 

 

Max Fried’s Magical August

Fried was very good all season, including holding his own against the Reds vs. Trevor Bauer in the Wild Card round. His August saw him go 33.1 innings allowing only five earned runs and striking out 31. He improved to 6-0 and dropped his ERA to 1.60. I had to throw this bonus clip in here too.

 

 

Ian Anderson’s Playoff Debut v the Reds (10/1)

Ian Anderson could be all over this list because he continued to impress every time he took the mound. He stepped up to another big challenge when he made his playoff debut as the third youngest pitcher ever for the Braves… and delivered a gem.

 

https://twitter.com/PitchingNinja/status/1311713368693182465

 

Cristian Pache’s 1st Career HR (10/14)

Yeah this game sucked. Ignore the score, this was pretty cool and gives me a lot of hope for Pache’s future.

 

 

Travis d’Arnaud comes back to haunt his old team (7/31)

Former Met Travis d’Arnaud dominated his old team and officially won the hearts of Braves fans everywhere. I was at The Battery for this one, and it was rocking. Bonus clip — Austin Riley sending a ball to the moon a week earlier.

 

 

Freeman’s walk off in Extras against Boston to Clinch the 2 Seed (9/25)

You wont be able to find a few moments better than this one. I remember the feeling that Freddie had 100% wrapped up the MVP and Atlanta earned the #2 seed.

 

 

Ronald Acuña’s Bomb off of Gerrit Cole in his Return from the DL (8/26)

Ronald had been on the shelf for two weeks, but he didn’t take very long to re-announce himself. It couldn’t have come at a better time — Ian Anderson’s MLB debut.

 

Nick Markakis’ Walk Off Home Run in his improbable return (8/6)

Markakis announced in the summer he would be opting out of the 2020 season before coming back at basically the last minute. He missed a few games, so fans wondered if he would have a little rust. Even though the end of his 2020 was disappointing — this moment still gives me goosebumps.

 

 

Bryse Wilson Spins a Gem in the NLCS (9/15)

Context is important. This series hurt to lose, but Bryse Wilson showed that he isn’t cooked yet. Not a lot of Braves fans (including us) believed in Wilson, but he absolutely dominated and made a little history too.

 

 

Freddie Freeman’s Walk off in the NLWCS — Game 1 (9/30)

You think a walk off in a playoff game would be a little higher on this list, but I hated this whole game. I was insanely frustrated and dying for almost five hours. Trevor Bauer dominated Atlanta — only allowing 2 hits, 0 walks, and struck out 13. The game was a scoreless stalemate until the 13th inning when Freeman sent Atlanta home as the victors in their first game of the 2020 postseason. After walking off against the Red Sox to clinch the #2 seed a few days before, Freeman delivered again. Bonus clip of Austin Riley going Superman to save a run.

 

 

Freddie Freeman’s First (and Second) Career Grand Slam (9/4 & 9/6)

As amazing as Freddie Freeman’s career has been, he had amazingly had never hit a grand slam. He got his first, and then only had to wait 2 days to get #2.

 

Ian Anderson outduels Gerrit Cole in his MLB Debut (8/26)

Gerrit Cole carried a 20-game win streak into Truist Park against the Braves and rookie, Ian Anderson. The 22-year-old stepped up to the challenge, and he hasn’t stopped dealing since.

 

Ian Anderson Dominates Game 2 of the NLDS (10/7)

Even better than an amazing MLB debut? You bet. After becoming the third youngest pitcher to start a playoff game for the Braves, he came out and shoved. Anderson looked like a seven-year veteran all season, no more than right now. Anderson already spun a gem against the Reds in Game 2 of the NLWCS to the tune of 6 shutout innings & 9 Ks. This one was somehow more special.

 

 

Clinching The First Playoff Series Win Since 2001 

The series against the Reds was frustrating, and even though it was a product of the new format — it felt good to get the playoff monkey off of our back, even without Mike Soroka. Ian Anderson’s debut was highlighted earlier, but the celebration was sweet.

 

 

Atlanta hangs 29 runs on the Marlins (9/9)

As far as the regular season goes, nothing comes close. I hate the Marlins for plunking Ronald Acuña Jr. so many times, and it felt good to absolutely bash them for a few hours. This was no doubt the most fun I’ve ever had watching baseball and it’s probably my favorite Braves memory ever. Here’s the box score if you want a good laugh. Every Brave who came to the plate had a hit, and more importantly at the time, they saved Tommy Milone’s skin… oh, and Duvall hit 3 HRs again including a Grand Slam.

 

 

Freddie Freeman finally gets some hardware

It’s not official, but it should be a foregone conclusion that Freeman is the 2020 NL MVP. If he doesn’t… it may get ugly. The awards are already rolling in.

https://twitter.com/Braves/status/1319341326983462917

 

Atlanta sweeps Miami to advance to the NLCS for the first time since 2001 (10/8)

The hump that felt insurmountable is finally over. Atlanta had failed to break out of the first playoff round for almost 20 years. Becoming perennial underachievers, this one felt really good. If it wasn’t for the new playoff format, this would have been the first. However, it’s still the sweetest. It felt great to absolutely spank Miami after they hit Ronald — and that spark lit an offense that put Atlanta back into the championship series for the first time since the Bush Administration. The icing on top? Kyle Wright shoved.

 

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