That’s how many runs the Atlanta Braves scored on Wednesday in their 29-9 win over the Miami Marlins. Truly, this was a game for the record books. Although it was not the highest scoring baseball game ever — the Texas Rangers erupted for 30 runs in 2007 — it was easily the best offensive game in Braves’ history, and they claim to be the oldest continuously operating sports franchise in America. Adam Duvall hit three home runs and drove in 9 RBIs; it was the second time this season he’s hit three dingers in a game. The 29-9 final was the first time in MLB history a game has finished with that score, and the 38 combined runs are the third most in the modern era. Perhaps the craziest stat of all? Because they were the home team, Atlanta only batted eight times.
So the Braves now have all the swagger, and, according to ESPN, their 26-18 record gives them a 99.6 percent chance of making the playoffs with 17 games remaining. Elsewhere in the NL, things are a lot more uncertain. As we enter the home stretch of this COVID-shortened season, here’s a look at this week’s nationally televised MLB games on Sling.
Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals
Fri. Sep. 11, 6:05pm ET, FS1
It’s those swagger-jacking Braves again! Seriously, I can not wrap my head around the fact that the Braves put up 29 runs in a game, and I say this as a Colorado Rockies fan who’s accustomed to 14-11 box scores. The Braves scored more runs than the average NFL team scored points in 2019 (22.8) by more than a touchdown. And they did it in eight innings. Un-freaking-believable.
ANYWAY. The defending World Series Champs could certainly use some of that Dirty South magic right now, because they’re currently living in the basement of the NL East. It’s been one of those seasons for the Nationals, the kind where a day after you sign your GM to a 3-year contract extension, he yells so loudly at the umps, he gets ejected from the game WHILE SITTING IN A LUXURY SUITE. Come to think of it, that’s a perfect metaphor for the Nats this year.
Cleveland Indians at Minnesota Twins
Sat. Sep. 12, 8:07pm ET, FOX
The AL Central is baseball’s most competitive division, with the Indians, Twins, and surprising Chicago White Sox all within one game of each other. With the expanded playoff field, all three teams are a virtual lock for the postseason, but they’d all certainly like to avoid the one-game, win-or-go-home Wild Card round, so it will be interesting to see how the last few weeks of the season play out. Minnesota’s home series against Cleveland this weekend will be their last of the regular season, and they then hit the road for a four-game series against the White Sox. Cleveland still has to face Chicago in a four-game series beginning a week from Monday, but they still have seven games left against the Detroit Tigers and Pittsburgh Pirates. The Indians appear to be in the driver’s seat, but the AL Central should be a fun division to watch as the season comes to a close.
L.A. Dodgers at San Diego Padres
Wed. Sept. 16, 4pm ET, ESPN
With 32 wins, the Dodgers look like the best team in the MLB, which isn’t a big surprise given that they’ve claimed two of the last three NL pennants. What has been surprising is that the Padres, now just 3.5 games back of L.A., are arguably the second best team in baseball. With Manny Machado returning to form, an impressive farm system, and a slew of new talent acquired at the trade deadline, the Padres have been one of the best stories of the season. As former Indians pitcher Mike Clevinger said after being traded to San Diego, "It's the most exciting team in baseball right now. It's kind of the place to be right now." After picking up his first win with the team, Clevinger was given a new skateboard from his childhood idol and San Diego icon Tony Hawk. With the nickname “Sunshine,” something tells me Clevinger is going to fit right in with the local culture.
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