Braves radio show ripped Ronald Acuña Jr. for not saving the game

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The Atlanta Braves have won 101 games this season and claimed a fifth straight NL East title, but their World Series defense ended this weekend ahead of a trip to the NLCS. And really, a lot has gone wrong for the Braves in their NLDS series with the Phillies. It wasn’t a game… or a player.

Still, judging by Braves radio analyst Joe Simpson’s call in Game 4, you would have guessed that Ronald Acuña Jr. was responsible for the playoff disappointment.

While Acuña was one of the few reliable hitters in the series for Atlanta, the Braves star was caught eyeing the ball inside JT Realmuto’s park in Game 4. As the ball escaped Michael Harris II and ricocheted off the wall. , Acuña had not moved yet. At best, Acuña could have held Realmuto to a hat-trick if he actively supported the game. That was a mistake, of course. But you hardly ever hear a team radio show talk about a star player like Simpson did on Saturday.

Listen (Note: the bottom video):

There is no denying that Acuña could have done better there. But the Braves have also told Acuña — who is coming off a torn ACL — to relax this season. That’s why we haven’t seen him run out of ground balls this season — it was instruction from the Braves. So it’s a bit unfair to expect maximum effort on a fly ball to left center field while simultaneously telling him to relax on the knee.

The game ultimately didn’t make much of a difference as the Braves lost 8-3. But it was certainly a talking point heading into what will be a long offseason for the Braves.

It was a bad play, but no team will win a playoff series when the starting pitchers are posting a 7.90 ERA. Simpson should save some of his energy for this.

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