“It’s huge,” catcher Travis d’Arnaud said. “(The score) can be zero-zero or we can be down by one (run), and with one swing of the bat we can either be back in the game or take the lead. I think it’s hard to come up with a game plan against that.”
Swanson and d’Arnaud slammed long solo home runs in the second and fourth innings, respectively, to produce all of the scoring in the Braves' 2-0 win in NLDS Game 2 on Wednesday. It was the second consecutive game in which Swanson and d’Arnaud homered.
The Braves had only four hits and drew no walks in Game 2, and the top three hitters in their batting order – Ronald Acuna, Freddie Freeman and Marcell Ozuna – were a cumulative 0-for-11. But the two home runs, combined with another day of outstanding pitching and good defense, made for a winning formula.
“In my experience here in the postseason as a coach or a manager, it’s hard to bunch hits together,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said after the game. "This pitching is too good. Guys get in the postseason for a reason, and probably, most likely, it’s pitching.
“Power is something that plays in the postseason, and (that) was witnessed today.”
In Game 1 of the series against the Marlins on Tuesday, d’Arnaud hit a three-run homer and Swanson a two-run shot as the Braves scored six runs in the seventh inning for a come-from-behind 9-5 win.
In Game 2 against the Marlins, Swanson crushed a 403-foot home run to center field with two out in the second inning to give the Braves a 1-0 lead, and d’Arnaud made the score 2-0 with a 405-foot homer to left in the fourth. Both homers came against Marlins starter Pablo Lopez, who had not allowed two home runs in a game previously this season.
During the 60-game regular season, the Braves hit 103 homers, more than any MLB team except the Los Angeles Dodgers, who had 118. The Braves were 21-6 in games in which they hit two or more homers.
Swanson and d’Arnaud became the first Braves to homer in back-to-back playoff games since Javy Lopez in 2002 – and just the third set of Braves teammates to homer in consecutive postseason games. (In 1997, Chipper Jones and Ryan Klesko each homered in Games 1 and 2 of the NL Championship Series against the Marlins. In 1996, Fred McGriff and Andruw Jones each homered in NLCS Game 7 and World Series Game 1.)