Note: This blog was written before the entire Major League Baseball season was in jeopardy, so just pretend there's still going to be baseball as you read this.
Following an offensive outburst in extra innings on Saturday, the Atlanta Braves used just about every at-bat Sunday to show that this team will be the best offense in Major League Baseball in 2020. Atlanta touched up the New York Mets to the tune of 14 runs on 17 hits Sunday night, but it's the way the Braves looked while doing it that gives me so much hope for what this season could look like.
Marcell Ozuna has at least one extra-base hit in each of his first three games with the Braves and has begun his stint in Atlanta with four hits, two home runs and three RBI in his first 12 at-bats. With Josh Donaldson's 2019 production seemingly at least replaced — if not bested — by Ozuna in the cleanup spot, Freddie Freeman is that much more likely to have another MVP-caliber season with that type of protection behind him.
But unquestionably the brightest spot in the Braves' lineup Sunday was Dansby Swanson, who has begun the season on a 5-12 tear with an opposite-field homer and six RBI. He was on the verge of putting up the type of offensive season everyone had been expecting from him in 2019 before suffering a heel injury, but it looks like that season might just be here in 2020. And if Atlanta adds 35 RBI from Swanson to what is expected of its lethal top four, this lineup is going to be terrifying.
And then just for good measure, Austin Riley launched a 458-foot tater shot to remind everybody that he has the capability to get the Braves on the board every at-bat — as long as you don't throw too many sliders. If that kid ever figures out how to hit off-speed pitches too, pray for Major League Baseball.
Perhaps scariest of all is that the Braves' performance this weekend came in a series in which Ronald Acuña Jr. went 2-15 with eight strikeouts. I have no doubt he's going to come around soon enough, and when that happens there will not be a weak spot in this lineup. It's almost a positive he's getting his slump out of the way early so he'll crank dingers the rest of the year. Galaxy brain thinking.
Judging too much from three baseball games — even when they do constitute 5 percent of the season — is a fool's errand, but watching the Braves mash baseballs all over the yard Sunday night made me absolutely giddy. We're back, boys and girls.