1. Here is the list of players in history who have hit 40 home runs while stealing 60 bases in the same season:
Ronald Acuña Jr.
“It’s pretty incredible, just to think of how many players have played in the big leagues, and my name’s alone,” Acuña said through interpreter Franco García. “But I’m hoping, and I’m sure, someone will break that record, too.”
Acuña led off the game with a line-drive rocket into the left-field seats off Patrick Corbin for his 40th home run, to go with 68 stolen bases.
He became the fifth member of the 40-40 club, joining Alfonso Soriano (2006), Alex Rodriguez (1998), Barry Bonds (1996) and Jose Canseco (1988).
“If I’m going to be completely honest, I didn’t think I was going to be able to get it this year, just because I knew I was hitting well, but I wasn’t really getting a lot of homers,” Acuña said. “It feels incredible that we’re standing here today and it’s accomplished.”
2. Charlie Morton sprained his right index finger in the win. He exited after an inning.
The X-rays were negative. The MRI, scheduled for Saturday, should provide more clarity.
Morton didn’t exactly display a ton of confidence when asked if he was concerned about his status for the postseason. But that seemed to be because he didn’t know the severity of the injury yet.
“There were times when I felt like something was really wrong with me, and nothing was wrong with me,” he said. “And there were times where I felt like, ‘Hey, I’m OK,’ and it turned out to be something more severe. The optimistic side of me says, ‘Yeah, I’ll be fine. In 10 days, I’ll be good.’ But I just don’t know – because it’s a finger.”
He couldn’t continue pitching on Friday, which isn’t a good sign. And he’ll need that finger to be effective.
But we don’t know for certain because he hasn’t had the MRI.
“I don’t feel like I’ve lost that much of my finger,” he said. “I don’t feel like I’m gonna leave here and not be able to open a door, or brush my teeth, or drive or something like that. Literally, one of the few things that it really could affect would be throwing a baseball.”
The Braves and their fans will hope for the best. This was the last thing anyone needed with the news on Max Fried’s blister forcing him to the injured list coming earlier in the day.
3. In the seventh inning, Marcell Ozuna blasted his 36th homer of the season. He has eight games to get to 40 homers.
How much would that number mean to him?
“It would mean a lot,” Ozuna said. “The way I started the season, and to be in this spot right now at the end of the season, it’s pretty awesome.”
Ozuna is one of the best turnaround stories in the sport this season. His last two seasons were terrible. He began this one in a similar way.
Out of nowhere, he returned to his career norm.
The Braves needed Ozuna’s 36th homer. It gave them a 9-4 lead, and the Nationals eventually tacked on a couple runs. Without Ozuna’s blast, things could’ve gotten uncomfortable.
4. After Morton departed, Michael Tonkin replaced him and allowed a run over two innings.
Darius Vines, recalled Friday to take Fried’s roster spot, pitched next. He surrendered three runs over 3 1/3 innings.
He got the game to Brad Hand, who gave it to Pierce Johnson, who gave way to Raisel Iglesias.
5. Tropical Storm Ophelia is bringing rain to this area this weekend, so the Nationals postponed Saturday’s game. The clubs will make it up as part of a split-admission doubleheader on Sunday.
The first game will begin at 1:35 p.m., and the second game will start at 6:35 p.m.
Stat to know
1 - According to ESPN Stats & Info, Acuña on Friday also became the first player in MLB history to have 160 homers and 160 stolen bases at age 25 or younger.
“The way that he comes in every day and plays, and the talent that he has – everyone that has known him for a long time knows what he can do. The season that he’s having this year after surgery and all of that stuff two years ago, and he does that, the (sky is the limit).”- Marcell Ozuna on Acuña
In some order, Kyle Wright and Spencer Strider will start Sunday’s doubleheader.