Overall, the Braves have scored 21 runs on 32 hits over two games against the Brewers. Both nights, each starting position player had at least one hit. It’s hard to argue against this offense, when it’s rolling, being the best in the majors.
“I don’t know that I’ve ever seen this at any level or any time,” manager Brian Snitker said of the Braves’ first-inning onslaughts. “It’s just crazy what they do at the beginning. It just keeps on, too. It’s been a long time now that they’ve been doing this. I’ve never seen anything like that.”
Teheran, in his first start as an opponent in Atlanta, was charged with nine earned runs on 11 hits over five innings. His time with the Braves should be remembered fondly, though: Teheran, a two-time All-Star, had a 3.67 ERA over nine seasons with the Braves. He made six consecutive opening-day starts for the team, joining Warren Spahn (10), Phil Niekro (eight) and Greg Maddux (seven) as Braves starters to make at least six such starts.
2. Back to the present: It was another masterful night for MVP frontrunner Ronald Acuña. He stole his 50th base in the first inning. He belted his 24th homer in the fourth, a two-run shot off Teheran. Acuña became the first player in history with 20 homers and 50 stolen bases before August. He’s the first player to swipe 50 bases since Dee Strange-Gordon (60) and Billy Hamilton (59) in 2017.
“I’m really happy about 50 stolen bases,” Acuña said via team interpreter Franco Garcia. “I feel like it’s a personal achievement that I’m really happy about. That said, there’s still a long way to go and I’m hoping to steal more bases.”
3. Designated hitter Marcell Ozuna showed signs of life with a homer Friday. He homered twice Saturday and also doubled during the Braves’ explosive first inning. He and Rosario regaining form lessens the Braves’ need to help their offense at the trade deadline. It also makes their deep lineup all-the-more menacing.
“It sure helps (our offense),” Snitker said. “When those guys are clicking and doing what they’re capable of doing, it takes a lot of pressure off the guys at the top (of the order) and lengthens our lineup. It’s a pretty dangerous offense when we have those guys swinging the bat, too.”
4. Bryce Elder’s All-Star appearance was sandwiched between poor starts against the Rays and Diamondbacks. He’s since rebounded with two nice outings against the Brewers. Elder held the Brewers to one run on four hits over seven innings Saturday. In his last two starts, he allowed three runs across 13 innings.
Elder has looked much more like the poised starter who earned those All-Star honors throughout the first half. “It feels good to get back on track,” he said.
5. The Braves won’t go the entire season without a sacrifice bunt. Outfielder Michael Harris had a sacrifice bunt to advance shortstop Orlando Arcia to second base in the fourth inning. It wound up a footnote as Acuña homered in the following at-bat.
Stat to know
31 -- The Braves have hit 31 first-inning home runs, tied with the 2019 Reds for the most such homers before August. That Reds team also holds the single-season record for most first-inning homers with 46.
“Look, I’d be lying to you if I said I didn’t want to win (NL MVP). I would love to win it. But that’s not where my mentality is at. I don’t give any thought to it. I don’t think about it. I feel like the MVP is chosen on stats, for lack of a better way to say it, and for me, baseball is about the way I go out and play the game and I enjoy it. So that’s what I focus on every time I go out there.” - Acuña
The Braves and Brewers conclude their regular-season series Sunday. The Braves will start AJ Smith-Shawver (1-0, 4.32) against Milwaukee right-hander Colin Rea (5-4, 4.53).