Sports

Braves Pitcher Huascar Ynoa Blasted A Grand Slam While Pitching A Gem Against Washington

22-year-old right-hander Huascar Ynoa wasn’t supposed to be a major part of the Atlanta Braves rotation in 2021. The Braves invested eight-figure contracts in starters like Charlie Morton and Drew Smyly and, with youngsters like Mike Soroka, Max Fried, Ian Anderson, and others returning, Ynoa projected as a supporting piece, or even a long relief option. However, Atlanta is off to a bit of a slow start and, due to both injury and ineffectiveness, Ynoa is in the spotlight.

On the mound, the youngster entered Tuesday’s game against the Washington Nationals with a rock solid 2.96 ERA in six appearances, and Ynoa also helped his own cause with a home run at the plate in his last outing. In the current environment, though, pitchers aren’t exactly raking after a year off from hitting at all, and Ynoa wasn’t exactly expected to follow up his previous home run with another.

This time, though, Ynoa took things a step further, blasting a sixth-inning grand slam to give the Braves a 6-0 lead.

Ynoa’s home run was not of the cheap variety, as it traveled 427 feet and was measured at 107.4 miles per hour off the bat according to MLB’s statcast metrics.

It was quite a majestic blast and, in the process, Ynoa made some recent Braves history, with an intriguing twist involving former Atlanta hurler Jaime Garcia.

Ynoa also became the first Braves pitcher to hit a home run in back-to-back appearance in sixty years.

At the time of his big swing, Ynoa was also working on a shutout, though that evaporated when he gave up a run in the seventh inning. Still, he lowered his ERA to a sparkling 2.36 for the season with seven quality innings, flashing his big-time arm to compliment his suddenly prolific bat.

It isn’t every day that a pitcher hits a home run, much less a grand slam, in a game between division rivals. Ynoa’s emphatic swing was even more impressive than usual, and he’s also been a fantastic early story for an Atlanta team that needs some mojo.

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