Willie, Millan ... and oh-so-almost Ozuna

September 12th, 2020

strengthened his bid for a second straight National League Player of the Week honor as he tallied a career-best five hits for the Braves in a 8-7 loss to the Nationals in 12 innings on Friday night at Nationals Park.

Ozuna highlighted his five-hit performance in the eighth, when he hit his 14th homer, putting him one behind Fernando Tatis Jr.’s NL-leading total. The Braves' designated hitter also plated a pair of runs with the two-out single he produced during Atlanta’s game-tying three-run ninth.

But when Ozuna came to the plate to face rookie reliever Kyle Finnegan with the bases loaded and one out in the 11th inning, he popped out to shallow right field. He was bidding to join Willie Harris (2007) and Felix Millan (1970) as the only players in Braves history to have a six-hit game.

“It’s hard to get six hits,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “I like him in those situations six ways from Sunday. I love him up there in RBI situations.”

Ozuna has batted .426, tallied six homers and produced a 1.394 OPS in 54 plate appearances this month. His production has created reason to wonder if the Braves might attempt to keep him beyond this year, if the designated hitter role remains in the NL.