When B.J. and Justin Upton both ended up in Atlanta during the offseason, we knew we had a chance to witness some pretty special things that had never been done before by brothers wearing the same uniform.
It only took them five games to show us just how special.
On Saturday night, the Uptons teamed up to turn a 5-4 ninth inning deficit against the Chicago Cubs into an incredible 6-5 victory, and it happened on two historic swings of the bat.
Leading off the inning was B.J., who worked a 3-1 count against Cubs closer (for now anyway) Carlos Marmol before slugging a game-tying solo blast deep into the left center field bleachers. It was only his second hit in 18 at-bats — the first came earlier in the game on an infield single that could have easily been ruled an error — and he certainly picked a great time to make his first real impact in a Braves uniform.
After Jason Heyward flew out harmlessly for the first out in the inning, little brother Justin then stepped in representing the winning run. Baseball writers and social media folks all around the globe perked up as the anticipation of what might happen built. Honestly, given how locked in Justin has been this week — four homers in his first 18 at-bats, including a solo shot in the first inning — and how all over the board Marmol has been historically, the result here was almost expected.
Sure enough, Upton delivered, getting every bit of Marmol's 1-2 offering and driving it over the center field fence to give Atlanta the win and etch the Upton brother's names in the history books.
According to Elias, they're now the first set of brothers to hit game-tying and game-winning home runs in the same inning. It's pretty wild, though certainly not surprising given the limited opportunity for such a feat to occur. In fact, the last brothers to have homered at all in the same inning were Cal and Billy Ripken back in 1996.
We doubt we'll have to wait another 17 years, and I wouldn't be surprised if it took less than 17 days as long as Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez keeps hitting the Uptons in the top third of the order. They're a dynamic duo, and they also have a knack for feeding off each other's success, or least accomplishing milestones as brothers. If you recall, B.J. and Justin both hit career home run No. 100 on the same night — Aug. 3, 2012 — while wearing Rays and Diamondbacks uniforms respectively. And that was two full weeks after hitting No. 99 on the same night as well.
Coincidences? Perhaps. But now that they're in the same lineup pushing each every night, the motivation to outperform each other can't get any higher. And the Braves should only benefit from that natural sibling rivalry.