As we know, the Braves clinched another division title with a 4-1 win over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park, the third win in the four-game series.
Marcell Ozuna and Acuña, among others, know how to celebrate a home run. The Phillies got to see it several times during the series. On the morning of the series finale, Thomson said the following on a Philadelphia radio station: “I like our guys to act like they’ve been there before.” While not naming names, it was clear who Thomson was referencing in his comment.
Before the clinching game, reliever Tyler Matzek, out for the season recovering from Tommy John surgery, took to social media to defend his superstar teammate.
“If you don’t like it, stop it. If you can’t stop it, admire it. If you can’t admire it, keep it down so everyone else can enjoy the show. #AcunaMVP.”
Note the post was in uppercase and lowercase.
After the victory, as the Braves celebrated, the fans at the stadium rang down a chorus of boos on Acuña. He responded by gesturing for the fans to continue before returning to the celebration.
Following the game, Acuna echoed Matzek’s post with one of his own.
“IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT, STOP IT. IF YOU CAN’T STOP IT, ADMIRE IT. IF YOU CAN’T ADMIRE IT, KEEP IT DOWN SO EVERYONE ELSE CAN ENJOY THE SHOW.” @TYLERMATZEK #FORTHEA”
Note the post was in all capital letters.
Before the game, Thomson tried to clarify his remarks.
“That was nothing to do with the Atlanta Braves and what Ronald does, or Ozuna,” Thomson told reporters. “They can do what they want. I can’t control that. I just mentioned that I preferred people act like they’d been there. I wasn’t trying to start a controversy or anything like that.”
Astute Braves fans will note that the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins spiked his bat after hitting a home run of Spencer Strider in Game 3 win of last year’s National League Division Series. Is that acting like you’ve been there before?
We are well aware that the Phillies eliminated the Braves in that NLDS last year. We are also well aware that in the six consecutive NL East division titles for the Braves, the clinching wins have come against the Phillies three times – 2018, 20121 and 2023.
We recap all of this as the Braves and Phillies will meet in one more regular-season series, a three-game series beginning Monday. In addition, there is a chance the teams could meet in the NLDS this year. As it currently stands, the Phillies and Cubs would play in the wild-card round, with the winner of that series facing the Braves.
There may be more to this story.