Our Top Five Atlanta Braves Home Runs Of The 2016 Season
Sep 22, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; Atlanta Braves left fielder Matt Kemp (27) celebrates with teammates in the dugout after hitting a solo home run in the sixth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. The Atlanta Braves defeat the Miami Marlins 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
The Atlanta Braves had a number of memorable home runs in 2016.
This past season, like every other season, had its high points and low points. However, since the year is almost over, it is fitting that we relive some of those high points for the Atlanta Braves.
Braves General Manager John Coppolella’s rebuild caused a noticeable power outage for Atlanta in 2016. They finished dead last in team home runs in Major League Baseball for the second year in a row with 122.
The ball club with the most team home runs — the Baltimore Orioles — hit 253 round trippers, more than doubling Atlanta’s total.
Now that the Braves will have Matt Kemp for an entire year, the total may rise a little. We can’t count on the long ball all that much though in 2017 as not much on the offensive side has changed.
Nevertheless, the year is almost over, and we at Tomahawk Take like to focus on the highlights of our beloved Bravos. Therefore, here are the top five home runs of the 2016 season.
Let’s take a look at our top five homers. Click the NEXT button below to start the slide show.
Sep 27, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves catcher Tyler Flowers (25) hits a three-run home run in the sixth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Number Five: Tyler Flowers’ Game-Tying Shot vs. Marlins; July 1, 2016
The month of July could not have started with a more entertaining game. It was “Star Wars Night” at Turner Field, and Julio Teheran — who entered the game with a 23 inning scoreless streak — was starting for the Braves. Sounds perfect, right?
Not so fast. Julio Teheran got roughed up in the first inning, as Derek Dietrich led off the game with a solo home run and Marcell Ozuna followed with a two-run shot of his own. Atlanta had a 3-0 hole to climb out of.
In the 5th inning, the score was 3-2 Marlins when Chase D’Arnaud hit a two run home run giving Atlanta a 4-3 lead. After Julio Teheran left the game, Miami rallied to score two runs off Chris Withrow to take a 5-4 lead in the 7th.
The score stayed tied at 5-5 all the way until the 12th inning, where unfortunately the late Jose Fernandez hit a pinch-hit two-run double to win the game for Miami. Nevertheless, the clutch timing of Flowers’ home run in a game that went back and forth all night earns this blast a spot at number five.
Jun 23, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves third baseman Adonis Garcia (13) is greeted by left fielder Emilio Bonifacio (64) after hitting a homer against the New York Mets during the eighth inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Number Four: Adonis Garcia’s Go-Ahead Blast vs. New York Mets; June 23, 2016
The June 23rd game between the Mets and the Braves was a classic battle between division rivals. The Mets had a 3-1 lead going into the 6th inning, but A.J. Pierzynski hit an RBI double off Mets starter Matt Harvey to cut the lead to 3-2.
In the bottom of the 7th, the Braves had runners on second and third base with one out. Matt Harvey was out of the game, so Atlanta was looking to cash in on the opportunity to turn the game around.
However, a controversial call at the plate turned the inning into a missed opportunity, and it led to a furious Brian Snitker being ejected from the game for the first time as a Major League manager. The AJC’s David O’Brien described the situation.
“Ender Inciarte hits a fly ball that left fielder Michael Conforto catches in foul territory. Emilio Bonifacio tags up and is called out on a close play at the plate when he slides into catcher Travis d’Arnaud, who’s on top of the plate.
Replays show Bonifacio’s knee or foot might have touched the plate before the tag, but the call is confirmed upon review. Umpires rule the tag was made before he touched the plate and d’Arnaud did not violate the home-plate collision rule.
This is not the first – or the second, or third – time that a close call and video review has gone against the Braves this season, and Snitker had seen enough.”
Atlanta would win the game 4-3, and Adonis Garcia went home a hero that night.
Aug 21, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves second baseman Jace Peterson (8) (far right) reacts with team mates after hitting a walk off home run against the Washington Nationals during the tenth inning at Turner Field. The Braves defeated the Nationals 7-6 in ten innings. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Number Three: Jace Peterson’s Walk-Off vs. Nationals; August 21, 2016
The August 21st battle between the Washington Nationals and the Atlanta Braves was an offensive showdown. Washington and Atlanta traded blows through the 6th inning, as Washington had a 6-4 lead heading into the 7th inning.
In the bottom of the 8th inning, Matt Kemp hit a solo shot for Atlanta to cut the lead to 6-5. After an hour-long rain delay, the Braves had the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth and no outs. Gordan Beckham grounded into a 6-4-3 double play off Blake Treinen which tied the game at 6-6 and sent the game to extra innings.
Apr 14, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves third base coach Bo Porter (16) congratulates first baseman Freddie Freeman (5) after a home run against the Miami Marlins in the fourth inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Number Two: Freddie Freeman’s Walk-Off vs. Giants; June 1, 2016
Nobody really knew what to expect from the two starting pitchers in the June 1st game. Atlanta’s Williams Perez had been hot and cold the first two months of the season, while San Francisco’s Albert Suarez was making his big league debut.
Brandon Belt launched a two-run home run off Williams Perez to give the Giants a 2-0 lead. The next batter, Hunter Pence, grounded out to end the inning but tore his right hamstring running down the first base line.
In the bottom of the 9th inning, the score was now 4-3 Giants, but the Braves had Kelly Johnson at the plate with runners on first and third and one out. On a 1-1 count, Giants pitcher Santiago Casilla bounced a ball past catcher Buster Posey, allowing Adonis Garcia to score from third base and tie the game at 4-4.
The homer sent Braves fans home happy and symbolized a breakthrough for Freeman at the plate.
Sep 6, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Atlanta Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson (2) dives home to score an inside the park home run against the Washington Nationals during the second inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Number One: Dansby Swanson’s Inside The Park Home Run at Nationals; September 6, 2016
Dansby Swanson‘s arrival to the big leagues in August gave many Braves fans a reason to watch Braves games late in the season. His bat, his glove, and his hair made meaningless games in late September fun to watch.
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While expectations for Swanson were sky-high, nobody expected him to hit for a lot of power due to hitting mechanics that are conductive to hitting primarily line drives. Still, after three weeks in the majors people wanted to see Dansby hit his first home run.
On September 6th, it finally happened for Dansby Swanson, but not in the way most people anticipated.
The Braves were in Washington for a series against the Nationals. It was a Thursday night, and Atlanta was facing Nationals southpaw Gio Gonzalez. In the second inning, Atlanta already had a 2-0 lead, and Dansby Swanson stepped up to the plate for the first time that evening.
Swanson’s first home run was the most exciting and thrilling home run of 2016, which is why it earns the top spot on this list.