Installment #27: Acuña Out for the Year
Atlanta Braves all-star right fielder Ronald Acuña Jr. will miss the remainder of the 2021 season with a torn ACL in his right knee. The injury occurred during a Saturday afternoon game against the Miami Marlins in Florida. This is unfortunate and devastating for my Braves, major league baseball, and most certainly for one of the game’s finest young stars. Me being the sports fanatic that I am, I still love the competition and excitement of games. But its year-ending injuries like this that I absolutely hate about sports.
From the way it was explained to me, Acuña went up to catch a fly ball at the right-field warning track. He mis-timed the ball and landed awkwardly with his right knee buckling. The outfielder immediately collapsed, holding his leg with his face in the dirt. The fly ball that Acuña didn’t get became an inside-the-park home run by Marlins second baseman Jazz Chisolm Jr.
After some time on the ground receiving medical attention, Acuña got up gingerly and began hobbling to the Braves dugout. He made it as far as near the infield before sitting on the grass as tears streamed down his face and his teammates gathered around him. Obviously not able to walk, he was eventually carted off the field and then taken by wheelchair to the Atlanta Braves clubhouse. Today the team confirmed the worst, that Ronald Acuña has suffered a complete tear of his right ACL and will have to undergo season-ending surgery.
Acuña has 24 home runs this season and has posted a batting average of .283. In yesterday’s game, he hit a double and scored a run. The Braves did win the game 5-4, getting starting pitcher Max Fried his first win against the Marlins and improving their record to .500 for the first time in more than a month. But they will have to play the rest of what has been a disappointing season without one of their biggest stars. One game at a time though, and they will look to sweep the Miami Marlins with a win today before the all-star break. Be very interesting to see how things shake out for a team that just a year ago appeared in the National League Championship series.