Ronald Acuña is one of the toughest outs in baseball right now. On top of demolishing MLB pitchers to the tune of a .355 average, six home runs and a league-leading 14 stolen bases, he's striking out less than 15% of the time so far.
And yet when the Atlanta Braves slugger came to the plate facing a catcher with his team up 14-6 against the Miami Marlins in the ninth inning Wednesday night, he promptly was sit down on four pitches. Let me repeat that: a catcher struck out one of the best hitters in baseball. And it was hilarious.
Ronald Acuña Jr.'s At-Bat Against Jacob Stallings
Ronald Acuña Jr. vs. Jacob Stallings.
A matchup you don't want to miss. ??? pic.twitter.com/pu8uLppGwi
— Cut4 (@Cut4) May 4, 2023
That's Marlins catcher Jacob Stallings, who took the mound in the ninth of the blowout.
Here's what this hilarious at-bat looked like pitch by pitch:
- A glorious 46.3 mph eephus for a called strike. Acuña shakes his head. Stallings chuckles. Just terrific.
- Another slow pitch, this time inside for a ball.
- A 78.1 mph fastball, which Acuña fouls off.
- An 84.9 mph heater at the bottom of the zone for strike three. All both of them can do is laugh.
Here are the strikes Jacob Stallings threw to Ronald Acuna Jr. Left the Braves awfully confused. ?
Stallings threw seven of eight pitches for strikes.#Marlins pic.twitter.com/IyRKqX2Yuu
— Fish on the Farm (@marlinsminors) May 4, 2023
See, this right here is why we love baseball. Anything can happen at any time. Even the best of the best can be humbled at the plate. And for what it's worth, Stallings faced the minimum in his inning of work. He allowed a single to Kevin Pillar then induced a double play from Sam Hilliard before whiffing Acuña.
That also wasn't the first time Stallings has taken the mound. He logged a scoreless inning back in 2019 with the Pittsburgh Pirates and another inning earlier this season. It was, however, his first career strikeout. Stallings can now go the rest of his career saying he struck out Ronald Acuña Jr. Pretty neat.