PHOENIX -- As a catcher at age 33, Kurt Suzuki didn't necessarily expect to suddenly regain the power potential he displayed in his younger days. But he's certainly enjoying this chance to get a feel for how Aaron Judge, Freddie Freeman and the game's other top power hitters feel when
PHOENIX -- As a catcher at age 33, Kurt Suzuki didn't necessarily expect to suddenly regain the power potential he displayed in his younger days. But he's certainly enjoying this chance to get a feel for how Aaron Judge, Freddie Freeman and the game's other top power hitters feel when they are in a zone.
"I wouldn't put myself in that kind of category, those guys are pretty special baseball players," Suzuki said after Tuesday's 8-3 win over the D-backs. "I just try my best to help the team win. When I run into some, it feels good, because I don't hit many. So, when I do hit some, it feels good, and I feel like I'm floating around the bases."
Suzuki flirted with a euphoric state again when he drilled a pair of homers. The veteran catcher hit a go-ahead two-run home run in the seventh inning, then added an eighth-inning solo shot that marked his 10th homer of the season and his sixth within a span of 32 at-bats in July.
"The guy is amazing," manager Brian Snitker said. "All of [his home runs] mean something. He doesn't waste any of them. It's great for him, and the club. He's a very valuable guy to have."
After remaining a free agent until the middle of January, Suzuki has been rejuvenated in his first season with the Braves serving as Tyler Flowers' backup. Before this year, Suzuki had not tallied more than eight home runs in a season since 2011.
Suzuki's go-ahead homer off D-backs reliever J.J. Hoover traveled a projected 411 feet with an exit velocity of 100.8 mph, per Statcast™. The eighth-inning homer against Andrew Chafin traveled a projected 401 feet with an exit velocity of 106.3 mph -- his highest mark since Statcast™ began tracking homers in 2015.
"It's good to have him back," Snitker said. "He's such a wonderful guy. He's a great teammate, and a great person."
After hitting a decisive fourth-inning home run against the Dodgers on Thursday, Suzuki spent this past weekend in Hawaii attending his grandmother's funeral . He rejoined the Braves on Monday, then returned to the lineup Tuesday with his fourth career multi-homer game, and second this month.
Suzuki has hit nine of his 10 home runs within a span of 96 at-bats dating back to May 17. It's a small sample size, and includes an arbitrary endpoint, but within this span, Suzuki has recorded a 10.55 at-bat-per-home-run ratio. Cody Bellinger entered Tuesday leading all qualified Major Leaguers with a 10.66 AB/HR ratio.
"I think I'm just trying to get good pitches to hit," Suzuki said. "I've been working with [hitting coach Kevin Seitzer], and just trying to be tension-free and not try to do too much, and let your hands do the work and try to be in sync. Everything is just kind of clicking right now."
Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.