When did the Atlanta Braves morph into the ’27 Yankees?
The clever answers are the night Ronald Acuna Jr. returned to the leadoff spot and/or the night Austin Riley moved into the starting lineup.
The Braves have been an offensive juggernaut ever since. Through Monday night’s win against the New York Mets, the Braves scored 90 runs in their previous 11 games.
Let that sink in.
They have scored 27 runs in their most recent two games (Monday and Sunday). They have scored seven runs or more in eight of the past 11 games and fewer than five runs in only one of them. Since June 1, they lead the major leagues in runs, hits, home runs, RBI, on-base percentage and slugging percentage — since June 1.
The bad thing about a run like this is Braves fans think such production is sustainable. It is not. But it doesn’t have to be overwhelmingly superior like this to win.
So, sit back and enjoy this while it lasts.
• Speaking of offensive juggernauts, did you happen to see the 2019 stats of G.W. Long’s Libby Baker, who was selected recently by the Alabama Sports Writers Association as Miss Softball?
The Troy signee led G.W. Long to its second straight Class 2A softball state championship, setting a single-season national record with 37 home runs. Repeat: That is one season.
She also had a state best 101 RBIs and 2.058 OPS with 81 hits, 72 runs, 12 doubles, .559 average, .637 on-base and produced 2.4 runs per game.
But that’s not all. As a pitcher, she went 20-1 record with five saves, 271 strikeouts (14.6 per 7 innings), 16 shutouts, five no-hitters and four perfect games. She had an 0.027 ERA, .048 WHIP and allowed only two home runs in 130 innings while opponents batted .077.
Needless to say, she earned the Class 2A state tournament MVP.
• I recently noted that two college football players from the state are on the 2020 ballot for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Those two were former Auburn linebacker Gregg Carr and former Bama defensive end E.J. Junior.
These was a coach’s name on the list that also is familiar to folks in this state: Larry Blakeney of Troy (1991-2014) and formerly an assistant at Auburn. Blakeney is the all-time winningest coach in Sun Belt Conference history and led Troy to four bowl games, including wins at the 2006 and 2010 New Orleans Bowl.
Another intriguing name on the coaches’ list is Roy Kramer of Central Michigan (1967-77). The future SEC commissioner led CMU to the 1974 Division II National Championship, the lone national title in program history. He was the 1974 Division II Coach of the Year who guided teams to two conference titles.
The announcement of the 2020 Class will be made in January 2020 in the days leading up to the College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship in New Orleans.
The 2020 College Football Hall of Fame Class will officially be inducted on Dec. 8, 2020.