Last Week in Atlanta – Week 22

This week featured a huge series against the Dodgers in LA.

With the baseball world fawning over an otherworldly August from Mookie Betts, how did the Braves respond?

Overall Record: 90-46, 1st place in NL East

Record this week: 6-1

Best moment of the week:

For the rest of my life, I hope you never forget this incredibly special day for us.

Those were the words that Ronald Acuña Jr. inscribed on a ticket to his partner from the Braves vs Dodgers showdown on 31st August 2023 – and what a day it was. It will live long in the memory of Ronald Acuña Jr. and his family – after getting married to his longtime love and mother to their two children Maria Laborde in the morning, the family watched on as Ronnie crunched a monster grand slam in the second inning to make him the first player in Major League history to tally 30 home runs and 60 stolen bases in a single year – with a whole month still to come. What a way to celebrate!

Worst moment of the week:

A rare blank from me here. No-one got injured, pretty much everyone performed well (Matt Olson didn’t have the best week, but did tie the league lead for home runs, so that’s still pretty okay) and the sole loss was mostly due to an excellent pitching performance from Bobby Miller. Saying there was really bad moment would be disingenuous, so I won’t.

Player of the week:

I can’t look away from Ronnie right now. He had 13 hits this week with four home runs, including the hardest hit ball in the majors this year (and the third hardest HR since 2015). He also stole four bases and had an OPS of 1.301 for the week, taking him to a ridiculous OPS+ of 163 for the year (meaning he’s 63% better than the average hitter). This award could have also gone to Marcell Ozuna, who capped off his own historic August with another brilliant week – but we can’t ignore the power of love.

WTF moment of the week:

Could Ron Washington be any more of a legend? Here he is busting some shapes in the dugout. I am desperate for this man to be a Brave for life. 

Optimism tracker:

10/10. Beating the Dodgers in a four-game series means that even if the teams end up with the same record, the Braves will win home field advantage if the two teams end up squaring off in the playoffs, which could be crucial given their poor record at Dodger Stadium. Facing the Dodgers lineup which boasted a hitter in Mookie Betts that had an August for the ages and Freddie Freeman, who had somehow been overshadowed despite slashing .359/.433./.698 with SIXTEEN doubles and coming out on top is no small feat. The starters’ woes are behind them now – the Braves are hot.

What’s on next week?

The Braves have a rare Monday off before starting a week at home with a three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals, followed by three more against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Thursday’s game against the Cardinals gives the Braves their last chance to see Adam Wainwright, as he goes up against Max Fried

UK friendly games: 

Saturday 9 September v Pirates (6:35pm), Sunday 10 September v Pirates (6:05pm)

Featured image of Ronald Acuña Jr. by the man himself on X.

Charlie Deeks is the Atlanta Braves correspondent on Bat Flips and Nerds. Follow him on Twitter @Omashaft!

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