While all the media and fan attention was focused on Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels, Ronald Acuña Jr. of the Atlanta Braves reached a new milestone in Major League Baseball history.
He reached 20 home runs, 40 doubles, and 50 RBIs before the All-Star break.
Acuña Jr. stole his 40th base of the season on April 4 against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Progressive Field in Cleveland.
Starting in right field, Aquino Jr. led off the top of the first inning with a single to right field and then quickly raced to second base on a 95-mph fastball from starter Gavin Williams that sailed just outside the zone, drawing a safe throw from A.J. Albies.
Acuña Jr. then drove home Alvis with a single to right field. With a 2-0 lead, Atlanta went on to win 4-2 and extend its winning streak to nine games. With a 57-27 (.679) record, Atlanta took over the NL East and the major league lead in winning percentage.
Acuña Jr. is the first player in Major League Baseball history to hit at least 20 home runs, 40 doubles, and 50 RBI before the end of the first half. Through Atlanta’s 84 games, he is batting .335 (113-for-337) with 21 home runs, 54 RBI, 77 runs scored, 40 doubles, and a 1.012 OPS. 메이저도메인
The team has never had a 20-homer, 40-steal performance in its 84-game history. However, double-digit home runs and 40 steals have been accomplished five times. Rickey Henderson (17 homers, 41 RBIs) in 1990, Henderson (15 homers, 49 RBIs) and Eric Davis (12 homers, 42 RBIs) in 1986, Henderson (11 homers, 41 RBIs) in 1985, and Kenny Lofton (10 homers, 45 RBIs) in 1994.
After the game, Aquino Jr. said, “I’m honestly so happy. I’m really happy with the season that’s been unfolding for me and my team,” he said, adding, “My shoulder is fine.” After a head-first slide, Akuña Jr. felt pain in his right shoulder and frowned slightly as he touched the area. But he played the rest of the way.
“I’ve always said, don’t drink or sleep or do anything else when he’s making plays, because you’re missing something special that you’ve never seen before,” Atlanta head coach Brian Snitker said, adding, “He’s a special player and it’s exciting to have him on our team and exciting to watch him play.”
Prior to the game, it was announced that Aquino Jr. was named NL Player of the Month for June. In 25 games in June, he batted .356 (37-for-104) with nine home runs, 22 RBIs, 26 runs scored, 14 doubles, and a 1.112 OPS. This is the third time in his career that Acuña Jr. has been named Player of the Month, following April 2021 and April of this year.
In the AL, the honor went to Ohtani. In 27 games in June, Ohtani batted .394 (41-for-104) with 15 home runs, 29 RBI, 27 runs scored, four doubles, and a 1.444 OPS. This is the third time Ohtani has earned the honor after winning it in June and July 2021. Barring an upset, both players will be named MVPs of their respective leagues this season.