Before the 2020 season began, there were questions surrounding how players would be able to maintain the same levels of intensity that they would in normal games. There are no fans in the stands, social distancing is in full effect and an aura of uncertainty and abnormality shrouds the sport as MLB attempts to put on a season amid the coronavirus pandemic.
And yet, the players have still managed to stay locked in during games and look like they're having fun out there doing it. For an example of that, look no further than Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr.
On Saturday, the Braves hosted the New York Mets for the second of four games between the NL East rivals. Atlanta cruised into the sixth inning with a 6-1 lead, but Acuña Jr. added another number on the scoreboard with a solo home run off Mets rookie pitcher Franklyn Kilome.
🎶 Guess who's back, back again 🎶— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) August 2, 2020
🎶 Ronnie's back, tell a friend 🎶 pic.twitter.com/M51dxpNC8I
After rounding the bases and somehow losing his helmet along the way, Acuña Jr. jumped up the dugout stairs and flexed for the invisible crowd of screaming fans. The run would prove to be more than enough insurance, as the Braves went on to win 7-1 and move to 6-3 on the year.
The home run was Acuña Jr.'s first of the season after getting off to a slow start. Entering playing Sunday, he's hitting just .184 with an MLB-leading 18 strikeouts this season.
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Braves Ronald Acua Jr. takes curtain call despite empty stadium after homer originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington