Here’s an idea: pitch around Ronald Acuña. WAY around.
With a two home run game tonight, Acuña has now hit home runs in five straight games and eight homers over his past eight games.
He immediately set the tone for tonight’s game. He slammed a first pitch fastball from Trevor Richards into the stands in left field, marking his third straight game with a lead off home run. This was his fifth straight game with a home run, a rookie record.
THREE straight games with a leadoff homer.— MLB (@MLB) August 14, 2018
FIVE straight games with a homer.
The next pitch? Another fastball, another home run, this time by second baseman Charlie Culberson. Two pitches, two runs.
The next two batters got singles, but Richards was able to get out of the inning with no further damage pushing back at what seemed like an inevitable blow out.
The Marlins would hit back strongly in the second when J.T. Realmuto showed more signs of coming out of his funk hitting a two run shot to tie the game.
J.T. Realmuto rips his 15th home run of the season!— FOX Sports Florida (@FOXSportsFL) August 15, 2018
We're all tied up at 2-2 SunTrust Park.
Catch all the @Marlins action live now on FOX Sports Florida and FOX Sports Go! #JustGettinStarted #MLB pic.twitter.com/Cl9F423d0w
In the bottom of the inning, Richards continued an inconsistent evening where he was largely burned by his fastball, and gave up two more runs including one on a triple by Ender Inciarte.
Give the Fish credit, they kept bouncing back. They plated three runs in the fourth on a double by Rafael Ortega and a two-run double by Realmuto, giving him four RBIs on the evening.
The two teams battled back and forth during the next several frames, but entered the bottom of the seventh tied at six, thanks in part to an RBI double by Chris Bostick.
Then, the wheels fell off.
Following a go-ahead single from Dansby Swanson off of Adam Conley, Ronald Acuña came up again with two men on. The results weren’t all that surprising:
Given that the Marlins aren’t in a pennant race, one can’t help but gleaming at least some joy from watching a player like this emerge in such a jaw-dropping manner. Are we watching a future great? Perhaps. Regardless, given that baseball is a game so steeped in history, it is easy for a true fan of the game to admire this young man’s talent.
In either case, the Braves were now ahead 10-6, which would be the final score.
Trevor Richards had an off day; one that was perhaps due. He only last 4.1 innings, while giving up 5 runs on 10 hits. For what it’s worth, he didn’t get tagged with the loss, for those that still care about such statistics.
Tomorrow, it’s José Ureña who gets a chance to hold down the Braves. Let’s hope the results are different.
King Fish: Obvious, isn’t it?
Flounder: Trevor Richards and Adam Conley (tied)
Turning Point: The three-run shot by Acuña
Please leave any Icthy picks in the comments below. Remember, we introduced a new grand prize for the contest this season.
|Rafael Ortega - LF||Ronald Acuna - LF|
|J.T. Realmuto - C||Charlie Culberson - 2B|
|Brian Anderson - RF||Freddie Freeman - 1B|
|Derek Dietrich - 1B||Nick Markakis - RF|
|Starlin Castro - 2B||Johan Camargo - 3B|
|JT Riddle - SS||Ender Inciarte - CF|
|Yadiel Rivera - 3B||Kurt Suzuki - C|
|Magneuris Sierra - CF||Dansby Swanson - SS|
|Trevor Richards - RHP||Anibal Sanchez - RHP|
So, are you tired of the Braves yet? If you watched both games of yesterday’s doubleheader you probably are. Hopefully, tonight will see Trevor Richards flash more of his recent excellence: a 2.61 ERA over his past 7 starts with an average of over a strikeout per inning over that stretch.
Perhaps what’s needed even more for the Marlins, however, is hitting. Having jettisoned their 2017 outfield and, more recently, Justin Bour, runs have been at a premium. The bottom part of the lineup has been particularly problematic, with none of tonight’s 6-9 hitters batting over .218 so far this season.
Is tonight the night for a breakthrough? Let’s hope so.
Who do you think will get a big hit for the Fish tonight?