ATLANTA – Given the tremendous effect that Austin Riley has made during the first month of his big league career, it was appropriate that Braves moved into first place in the National League East for the first time this year at night, when their young sluggers showed more clutch
ATLANTA – Considering the enormous effect
Riley drilled a game-tying home run in the ninth and then dove first across home plate after racing from first base on a
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"I love running through the pain and still deaf Albie's mirror told Riley, who was hit on the left wrist at a pitch to start the decisive inning that gave Braves their sixth straight victory and a fight over second-place Phillies.
Riley responded to the sudden-Hot Second Baseman's comment with the same smile seen since making his Major League debut on May 15. The 21-year-old view (Braves # 4 by MLB Pipeline) hit 10 races and built a .959 OPS through its first 26 games.
Riley's ninth-inning home run made him the fastest Braves player to reaching 10 career homers, besting the record previously held by Wally Berger (29 games in 1930).
are all great, "Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "They've all given us a lead, tied the game or put us in front. He comes up in big spots."
Before putting more emphasis on Riley's homer barrage, it's important to note that he covered his game-ending dash from first to home in 10.94 seconds, per Statcast. His 27.0 ft./sec. Sprint speed was just off MLB average. In other words, his 6-foot-3, 240-pound frame provides more than just impressive power.
"He's not slow in any way," said Braves starting Mike Soroka. "He runs pretty well. He is a good athlete. I knew if he got a good leap, he would be there. I think we were on the track before he actually came [across the plate]."
Soroka held a rarely hard excursion that enabled career heights in hits (10) and earned races (5) over five innings, but he still ranks second in the NL with a 1.92 ERA. When the 21-year-old beginner allowed more than one earned run for only the fourth time in 16 careers, he let the Pirates chip away at the early deficit, the Bucs view Mitch Keller faced after allowing six runs over three innings.
Riley burned Braves' three-round first with his first career triple and then highlighted his fourth three-draw game – where he finished a twin shy of the bike – when he started the ninth by spraying Kyle Crick & # 39; s 3-1 fastball over the middle wall.
"I made some pretty decent seats early," Crick said. "The first pitch was down, but it's one of those offers where you have to get ahead of these guys."
Riley has accounted for the two homebrews that Crick has allowed over a 147-batting span against right-handed hitters dating back to April 28, 2018. Riley's start-up in a June 6 victory in Pittsburgh came against the right-handed reliever shoots.
"In Pittsburgh he threw me a bunch of sliders," said Riley. "So when I confronted him earlier this week, it was all fastballs. He went back to the same. He went all the fastballs so I adjusted and took my chances."
Although Riley has said he doesn't always have Known exactly who he has faced in a game, his cerebral approach has shown that he has a better memory than he thinks. He has also shown the ability to remain calm under pressure.
Four of Riley's 10 homes have either tied a game or given Braves a lead after the sixth inning. Although Soroka said he saw Riley's clutch gene as they came together in minors, the slugger admits that he has been a little surprised at the success he has had in big situations.
"I felt like when I got up in these situations in minors, the nerves would get me," Riley said. "Therefore, I think this clubhouse helps. Everyone thrives away from the positive energy."
Although rain delays have lasted two nights, Braves leave the ballpark after 10pm. A ET, and with Thursday's first pitch at noon, the company's house was still filled with some of the energy Riley created with its long blast and crazy dash.
"I'm not a speedster," Riley said. "I changed it a little. It was fun."
Mark Bowman has covered Braves for MLB.com since 2001.