Stat of the Day: Panda's pinch-hit power

April 15th, 2021

MLB.com is keeping track of a Stat of the Day for the Braves this season, highlighting a unique, interesting or fun nugget from each game.

April 15: Braves 7, Marlins 6 -- Sandoval nears pinch-hit home run crown
Pablo Sandoval hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the sixth inning to aid the Braves' comeback. Sandoval's three pinch-hit homers are one shy of the franchise's single-season record, which is shared by Johan Camargo (2019), Evan Gattis (2013) and Tommy Gregg (1990). He is also one away from tying the most ever hit in a single month by a big leaguer. Erubiel Durazo set that record with four pinch-hit homers for the D-backs in April 2001.

April 14: Marlins 6, Braves 5 (10 innings) -- Acuña's 110-plus mph exit velo 
Ronald Acuña Jr.'s 13 extra-base hits tie him with Hank Aaron (1959) for the most by a Braves player through the first 12 games of a season. But maybe more impressive was the ferocity with which he tallied two of his three extra-base hits in the extra-inning loss to the Marlins. Acuña’s first home run had a 110.8 mph exit velocity and his double came off the bat at the same exact velocity. He's the first Braves player with multiple 110-plus mph extra-base hits in the same game tracked by Statcast (since 2015).

April 13: Marlins 14, Braves 8 -- Run total vs. Marlins
During their 14-8 loss on Tuesday, the Braves surrendered 14 runs to the Marlins for the first time since claiming a 16-14 win over them on Sept. 2, 2008. Current Braves pitcher Charlie Morton actually started that game for Atlanta, allowing seven runs (four earned) over 3 1/3 innings. Marlins starter Anibal Sanchez allowed six runs over three innings. Jeff Francoeur hit a three-run homer off Sanchez, and Ruben Gotay scored Martin Prado with the game-winning double in Atlanta's two-run ninth.

April 12: Marlins 5, Braves 3 (10 innings) -- Acuña cranking out extra-base hits
Ronald Acuña Jr.’s 10 extra-base hits are the second most by a Braves player through 10 games in franchise history (since 1901). Hank Aaron and Dale Murphy each had 11 extra-base hits in '59 and '85, respectively. The franchise record for most extra-base hits before May is 22, set by Ozzie Albies in 2018. Acuña is on pace for 26 extra-base hits this month.

April 11: Phillies 7, Braves 6 -- Freddie's hat trick
Freddie Freeman homered in a third straight game to make him 5-for-28 with four homers on the year. The only time he's homered in four straight games was May 16-19, 2019, a stretch that included one game against the Cardinals and three against the Brewers.

April 10: Braves 5, Phillies 4 -- From 0-4 to 4-4
This year marked the 12th time the Braves started 0-4. But it's only the second time they have followed an 0-4 start by winning four straight games. The only other time it happened was in 2012, when the Braves went on to reach the postseason as a National League Wild Card in Chipper Jones' final season.

April 9: Braves 8, Phillies 1 -- Acuña the HR crusher
Ronald Acuña Jr. hit a 456-foot homer in the fifth inning of an 8-1 Braves win over the Phillies. Including the playoffs dating back to his 2018 debut season, Acuña has hit a MLB-best 10 450+ foot home runs.

April 7: Braves 2, Nats 0 (Game 2 of DH) -- Panda strikes again
With his game-tying two-run homer on Opening Day and a game-winning homer against the Nationals in Game 2 of a doubleheader in this one, Pablo Sandoval became the first Brave to account for all his team's runs via a pinch-hit homer twice in one season.

April 6: Nats 6, Braves 5 -- Acuña's leadoff legend grows
With a leadoff homer -- off Max Scherzer's first pitch of the game on Nationals Opening Day -- the leadoff legend of Ronald Acuña Jr. grew. He has the most leadoff home runs before the age of 24, with 20. Hanley Ramirez had 15 and Barry Bonds hit 13.

The Braves' franchise record for leadoff homers stood at 17 until Acuña broke it last year. Now, the outfielder is creating reason to believe he could one day break Rickey Henderson's all-time record of 81.

April 4: Phillies 2, Braves 1 -- Short on runs
The Braves totaled three runs while being swept by the Phillies to open this season, their lowest run total through the first three games since they tallied two runs while being swept by the Expos to begin the 2003 season.

April 3: Phillies 4, Braves 0 -- Morton's long-awaited return
With this start, went 12 years and 194 days between appearances as a Brave. According to research from the Elias Sports Bureau, only four other Braves in the modern era (since 1900) had a gap of at least 12 years between appearances, with Bucky Walters’ 17-year, 302-day span the longest. The others were Darrell Evans (1976-1989; 12 years, 296 days), Ray Mueller (1938-1951; 12 years, 203 days) and Johnny Evers (1917-1929; 12 years, 94 days).

April 1: Phillies 3, Braves 2 -- Sandoval steps up
became the fourth Braves player to hit a pinch-hit home run on Opening Day since 1901. The others were Jimmy Johnston (1926), Chuck Tanner (1955) and Matt Joyce (2019). Sandoval, Joyce and Johnston each homered against the Phillies.