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Monday, June 1, 2020

Ronald Acuna has words for Cardinals after Game 5 hit by pitch

Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. was left angry after being hit by a pitch in the fifth inning of Game 5 of the NLDS by St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jack Flaherty.

Acuna was hitting with a man on and two out in the bottom of the fifth with his team trailing 13-1. On a 1-2 pitch, he was drilled in the arm by Flaherty. In response, Acuna angrily talked and gestured at Flaherty and the Cardinals as he went to first.

Both benches were warned by home plate umpire Tom Hallion as a result.

There’s a lot of backstory here. The Cardinals did not hide their unhappiness with Acuna after a Game 1 bat flip, and the Braves outfielder has been in a bit of a war of gestures with St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina for the remainder of the series. Cardinals outfielder Marcell Ozuna was also hit by a pitch in the top of the third.

Was it intentional? The fact that it was in a 1-2 count would make it odd timing, but the Cardinals were up by 12, it was a fastball directly at the arm, and Flaherty hadn’t shown any signs of wildness. It’s suspicious at best, and the umpire agreed enough to issue warnings.

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