Just in case the first home run wasn’t loud enough, Marcell Ozuna added a second for exclamation.
Just in case the first home run wasn’t loud enough,
After going 2-for-13 in the first three games of the National League Championship Series, the Braves’ designated hitter recorded four hits and four RBIs in a 10-2 win over the Dodgers in Game 4 on Thursday at Globe Life Field in Arlington.
It would seem as though the slugger nicknamed “The Big Bear” has emerged from hibernation in mid-October, just in time for clutch postseason baseball.
Ozuna put the Braves on the board when he sent an 85.7 mph slider from Clayton Kershaw a Statcast-estimated 422 feet to left-center field at 108.6 mph in the fourth inning.
During the Braves’ six-run sixth inning, Ozuna doubled on a line drive to center, driving in Freddie Freeman and knocking Kershaw out of the game.
“My plan was to just make him throw a good pitch to swing [at],” Ozuna said of his approach against Kershaw in a postgame interview with FS1. “The first at-bat, I hit it hard, but it went on the ground. Then I got locked in and was just looking middle-up.”
Then Ozuna led off the seventh with a 434-foot, 105.6 mph shot to center field off Dylan Floro’s 95.3 mph sinker.
Ozuna added an RBI single to center off Jake McGee for good measure in the eighth, his fifth at-bat of the game, and extended Atlanta’s lead to 10-2.
Ozuna became only the fourth player to smack at least four balls with an exit velocity of 104 mph or faster in a playoff game since 2015. He joins the list of Joc Pederson (2020 NLCS, Game 3), Manny Machado (‘18 NLDS Game 4 vs. the Braves) and Edwin Encarnación (‘15 American League Division Series, Game 4).
With 11 total bases, Ozuna set a Braves playoff record for a single game. The last player with as many bases in a postseason game was the Dodgers’ Kiké Hernández, when he had 12 in Game 5 of the 2017 NLCS.
“It feels amazing,” Ozuna said of being one win away from the World Series. “It feels awesome. It’s going to be a dream for me to be in the World Series for the first time. Let’s go and let’s do our job and help the team the rest of the way.”