After hitting another home run against the Marlins, Ronald Acuna Jr.’s battle was extended after he was hit by another pitch in Game 1 of the National League Divisional Series at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday afternoon.
In the playoffs, Acuna became the youngest player to shoot a home run when he caught a fastball from Sandy Alcantara 428 feet above the right center wall, the 22-year-old intentionally moved his bat behind his back.
When Acuna returned to bat in the third episode, Alcantara’s 97.5-mile-per-hour fastball hit him in the left hip. Acuna paddled, took a few steps out of the box and was stopped by Andy Fletcher, the lead umpire, when he supposedly told someone on the Marlins’ bench that he would respectfully express his discomfort.
“Clearly, at this point, these kids are in high spirits,” said Marlins founder Don Mattingly during a television talk show about the game. “I know 100 percent we’re not going to hurt them. He’s just trying to throw a fastball to get more ground in the outer half. He made the first slide shot looking to chase something around, and it surprised him. And in the past, we’ve had it. And that’s where you have to put it. We don’t want to give him a ball, but it gets away from you often.
Acuña’s difficulties with the Marlins go back to August 15, 2018, when he was hit by a pitch from José Ureña when his effort to hit a home run in the fourth straight game was eliminated. Both benches were emptied and when trying to get to Urena, Bravos’ manager Brian Snitker had to be held up.
“I don’t know,” Snitker said during Tuesday’s HBP game. I’m definitely going to get in trouble if I tell them what I think. Over the years, this guy has been hit several times. He’s going 97 miles per hour and that hurts.
You have to remember that Acuna has also been very powerful against the Marlins. The 18th he hit in the first 174 turns at bat against Miami (one for every 9.7 turns at bat) was his first home run.
Acuña has been hit by balls five times in his 206 visits to the plate against the Marlins. He has been hit 15 times in his 1,200 career hits at bat. It should be noted that Acuna has managed to hit the Marlins with great ease. His first home run against Miami was number 18 in his career in the first 174 innings.
By : Eduardo Morillo