Marcell Ozuna and Ian Anderson had historic nights vs. the Boston Red Sox.
The Atlanta Braves and the Boston Red Sox are at opposite ends of the spectrum in their respective eastern divisions. Atlanta is 21-14 through 35 games, leading the NL East by three games and tied for the second best record in the National League. Boston is a dreadful 12-24 through 36 games, in last place in the AL East and tied for worst record in the American League.
So it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that the visiting Braves put a whooping on the reeling Red Sox in the second game of their three-game series at Fenway Park on Tuesday night. While Atlanta won effortlessly 10-3, it was Ozuna at the plate and Anderson on the mound who stole the show. How good were Ozuna and Anderson on Tuesday night? They were historically great.
Marcell Ozuna and Ian Anderson made MLB history on Tuesday night in Boston.
Though the Braves and Red Sox play semi-regularly as interleague foes most years, no National League player had ever hit three or more home runs in a ballgame at Fenway Park until Ozuna did that on Tuesday night. His third homer to straight-away center to make it 10-2 Braves has to be among the longest home runs hit at Fenway Park in the 100-plus year history of the stadium.
The Braves knew they were getting some Iggy Pop Raw Power from the right side of the plate when they signed Ozuna to a one-year deal this offseason to effectively replace the Bringer of Rain Josh Donaldson and his umbrella. Though some doubted the move, everyone in Braves Country is beyond thrilled with the acquisition. Ozuna has thrived as the team’s designated hitter.
As for Anderson, he answered prayers. The Braves were not exactly thriving when it comes to the starting rotation, just like Aqualung sitting on that park bench. But with his Locomotive Breath, Anderson is now 2-0 in his first two big league starts with wins over the New York Yankees and the Red Sox. The only other player to do this in MLB history was the Hall of Very Good Luis Tiant.
While Ozuna may end up being a one-year rental, Anderson could be the third ace in future Braves rotations, joining Mike Soroka and Max Fried. We’ll have to wait until 2021 with Soroka on the mend from a torn Achilles. Though Anderson isn’t on their level yet, we must respect the not famous flautist for beating his childhood favorite team at its holy baseball cathedral.
Even though the Braves didn’t make any blockbuster trades in the hours before Monday’s MLB trade deadline, Anderson silenced general manager Alex Anthopoulos’ critics with his second career gem in as many starts. Anderson now joins Fried and Soroka as the only two Braves starters to more than six innings twice this year. And of course, we all know what Ozuna can do.
The Braves have one more road game vs. the Red Sox on Wednesday before a scheduled off-day Thursday. They will return to Atlanta, hopefully with a series sweep of Boston and a sizable NL East lead before the Braves’ next home series for the struggling Washington Nationals who won’t be repeating as World Series champions. Atlanta may not win it all, but the Braves have a chance.
Ozuna and Anderson may not be this historic again, but what a night for those two ballplayers.