Ronald Acuña hits and admires his 17th career home run in 44 career games against bottom-feeding Marlins pitching staff, and subsequently wears a pitch from Sandy Alcántara in his next at-bat after Miami had taken an early 4-1 lead in the third inning of Game 1 of the teams NLDS series.
The subsequent dustup fired up the Atlanta Braves, who rallied for a 9-5 win. After throwing 95 pitches, Alcántara said in postgame comments that if Acuña is 'ready to fight', he is too. Acuña responded in kind in social media posts later in the day, taking the opportunity to apologize to 'absolutely nobody'. The feud between Acuña and Miami dates back to 2018, when José Ureña plunked Acuña on the elbow to open a game - Acuña had hit leadoff home runs the previous three days. Ureña was thrown at by Atlanta the following year while batting.
Easy for Alcántara say he is 'ready to fight' after the fact, that will likely have to wait until a spring training or regular season game down the road. Until then, Atlanta broadcaster Jim Powell will continue to hype the hostilities.
And if Acuña did charge the mound and get suspended for the balance of the series, the Marlins would gladly take any tradeoff.
With all four second-round series featuring division rivals, this will not be the last time tempers flare in MLB this week.