Legendary baseball writer Roger Angell will turn 100 next week. In his classic book “The Summer Game”, he poetically describes his beloved sport: “Since baseball time is only measured in outs, all you have to do is succeed completely; keep hitting, keep the rally alive and you have defeated time. Stay forever young. Sitting in the stands, we feel it, even if only vaguely. The players below us – Mays, DiMaggio, Ruth, Snodgrass – swim and mingle in memory, the ball floats on Terry Turner, and the end of this game may never come. “
The Atlanta Braves tried to beat time on Wednesday and almost succeeded, scoring 29 points in their win over the Miami Marlins. “My favorite urban flower, the baseball box score,”
Freddie Freeman homed, doubled and led in six runs. He didn’t play the best game of the evening.
Dansby Swanson and Austin Riley each scored five points. It is quite rare. Only Alex Dickerson did it again this season and George Springer was the only player to do it in 2019. Neither Swanson nor Riley had the best game of the night.
That honor goes to Adam Duvall, who went 3 out of 4 with two walks, three home runs, five runs and nine RBIs. He tied Tony Cloninger’s franchise record for RBI in one game; Cloninger, a pitcher, scored two Grand Slams in one game in 1966. Duvall scored three home runs in one game for the second time this season, becoming the first National League player with two three-homer games in a season since Albert Pujols in 2006 Only Sammy Sosa has three games of three homers in one season.
This isn’t even the most surprising fact about Duvall’s three-homer. As MLB.com’s Sarah Langs pointed out, Duvall is the first player in Braves history with two three-homer games in his career. Yes. Hank Aaron only had a three-homer game for the Braves. Chipper Jones only had one. Dale Murphy, Eddie Mathews, Andruw Jones … just one. Bob Horner had a four homer game, but he never had a three homer game.
Growing up in New York, Angell watched Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig hit home runs at the original Yankee Stadium. I don’t know if he saw anything of this game but I can guarantee it was something he had never seen before – it was the first game in MLB history to finish 29-9.
The Braves and the Marlins have teamed up to score the third most runs in a game in the modern era. Yes, only in baseball is 1900 considered modern, but for a reason we use the 1900 limit. There were a lot of crazy results early in baseball, when mistakes were plentiful and the quality of the game was obviously of a different standard than till today. In fact, the Boston Beaneaters, the precursor to the current Braves franchise, scored 30 points in one game in 1883 and scored 29 just 11 days later. If you’re into 1883, this is technically tied to the second highest scoring game for the Braves.
From the games that matter most to what the matches would look like if the season ended today, we prepare you for baseball’s wild sprint to the finish.
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However, 38 combined runs are quite remarkable. Here are the other three games with at least as many combined tracks:
June 9, 1901: Giants 25, Reds 13
Of course, the match was also very different in 1901. The Braves and Marlins teamed up for nine home runs on Wednesday, but there wasn’t a single homer in this match. There were, however, 49 hits, including 31 from the Giants. Kip Selbach went 6 out of 7, and George Van Haltren and Charlie Hickman each have five hits and five runs. This was the last appearance of Hall of Fame pitcher Amos Rusie, known as “Hoosier Thunderbolt” for his fastball. He was a star for the Giants in the 1890s, but hadn’t launched into the majors in three years when the Reds gave him a chance. He threw five innings in relief and conceded 15 hits and 10 points.
May 17, 1979: Phillies 23, Cubs 22
The Phillies scored seven points at the top of the first. The Cubs responded with six of them as starters Dennis Lamp of the Cubs and Randy Lerch of the Phillies recorded just one. Yes, the wind was blowing that day in Wrigley and the teams joined for 11 home runs. Dave Kingman hit three long balls for the Cubs as part of a six RBI matchday, and teammate Bill Buckner led in seven, but Mike Schmidt won for the Phillies in the 10th inning with a home run against Bruce Sutter.
August 25, 1922: Cubs 26, Phillies 23
Yes, another Phillies-Cubs game at Wrigley Field (then known as Cubs Park). The Cubs scored 10 points in the second and 14 points in the fourth. The Phillies recovered late with 14 runs in the last two frames. Hack Miller made two homers and rode in six runs for the Cubs, and teammate Cliff Heathcote had five hits, two walks and five runs. One difference: this game took 3 hours and 1 minute to play; the Marlin and the Braves took 4 hours and 14 minutes.
The Braves entered the day hitting .263 / .337 / .475 as a team with an average of 5.4 runs per game. Now the Braves are hitting .270 / .345 / .491 and averaging 5.9 runs per game.
The Braves hit 17 balls at over 100 mph, which, believe it or not, isn’t a StatCast era record. The Nationals had 20 100 mph balls in play in a 23-5 win over the Mets in 2017. The Braves’ five hardest hits on Wednesday:
1. Acuna, Alex Vesia’s fifth inning home run: 111.5 mph
2. Duvall, Josh Smith’s seventh inning grand slam: 110.4 mph
3. Acuna, eighth inning flies off Ryne Stanek: 110.3 mph
4. Freeman, third inning home run off Jordan Yamamoto: 108.5 mph
5. Freeman, sixth inning groundout outside Smith: 106.8 mph
Duvall’s other two home runs were a 106.1 mph blast from Yamamoto and a 101.4 mph blast from Yamamoto. Braves’ Twitter sparked with jubilation – except for one user named Joe Morales, who posted a tearful meme with the words “Sat Adam Duvall in fantasy”.
Yes, it was a bad day for Joe Morales. But it was historic for Adam Duvall and the Braves.