Travis d’Arnaud powers Braves to Game 1 victory over Marlins

dkb200731050 mym vs atl

If you were expecting a pitching duel in Game 1, featuring Max Fried and Sandy Alcantara, you were quickly in for a surprise, as the fireworks started early in the first inning.

Ronald Acuña, as he’s done so many times against the Marlins, sent the second pitch he saw 428-feet the other way to give the Braves a lead.

However, Alcantara would settle down, and the Marlins responded in the top half of the second when Miguel Rojas crushed a ball to the train tracks over the left-field wall to tie the game. Miami then dinked and dunked their way to a three-run lead in the following inning.

Fried certainly didn’t have his best stuff, but he was able to settle down and eventually get out of the third inning, and the Braves bats had his back — as well as Ronald Acuña’s.

On the second pitch of Acuña’s second at-bat, Alcantara nailed him on the butt with a 98 MPH fastball. Given the history between Acuña and the Marlins, it was no surprise that he and Brian Snitker took exception to it. Both sides were issued a warning. From a baseball perspective, I highly doubt it was intentional. If it was, it was an unbelievably stupid move by Alcantara, but it sure woke up Atlanta’s offense.

Later in the inning, Marcell Ozuna doubled to bring in Acuña, and d’Arnaud followed him with a double to cut the lead to one.

Fried was able to end his outing on a positive note with a clean fourth inning before Brian Snitker turned to his bullpen. His final line was 4 innings, 4 earned runs, 6 hits, 0 walks, and 4 strikeouts. However, if there’s a glass-half-full way at looking at it, it’s that Fried will certainly be available later in the series (if needed). He only threw 70 pitches (49 strikes).

For the next couple of innings, both offenses were quiet. The Braves’ bullpen did what they have done all season long. Darren O’Day threw just nine pitches in a scoreless fifth, Tyler Matzek struck out the side in the sixth, and Will Smith pitched a clean seventh in just eight pitches. Meanwhile, Alcantara found a groove… until the Braves’ sticks came alive in the bottom half of the seventh.

Austin Riley got the rally started with an excuse-me knock through the right side with the shift in place, bringing Acuña to the plate with a chance to take the lead. He may not have delivered the go-ahead homer, but he did single up the middle, which was enough to force Alcantara out of the game.

Don Mattingley turned to his best reliever, Yimi Garcia, with two men on and nobody out. Garcia finished the regular season with a 0.60 ERA, allowing just nine hits and one run in 15 innings. But that goes out the window in the postseason, and the Braves had all the answers for him.

Freddie Freeman grounded into a fielder’s choice to put runners at first and third before Marcell Ozuna tied the game with a single into left field… but that was only the beginning of the damage. d’Arnaud came up next with two men on and delivered the kill shot over the 409-sign in straightaway center field.

The Braves then added two more in the inning on another home run from Dansby Swanson.

The Marlins attempted to spark a rally of their own in the eighth but could only put one on the board against Chris Martin. Mark Melancon then shut the door in the ninth with a clean inning.

It wasn’t the outing most Braves fans expected from Fried. However, it was fantastic to finally see this offense flex their muscles in the postseason. It’s been a long time coming for these bats, but the job is not done. Game 2 will be at the same time tomorrow — 2:08 ET — with Ian Anderson taking the mound for the Braves against Sixto Sanchez of the Marlins in a battle of rookie sensations.

Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: