Ronald Acuña’s rookie season excellence in Atlanta is one of the best stories of the baseball season on the whole, and his three-game streak of leadoff home runs is one of the best sports stories going heading into tonight.

Marlins starter Jose Ureña ended that streak, not by retiring Acuña but by drilling him on the first pitch of the at-bat.

97 MPH right into Acuña’s elbow, without a hint of surprise from Ureña, when a guy has hit three straight leadoff homers? Yeah, that was intentional. The benches cleared, as you’d expect, and after an umpire discussion, Ureña was tossed.

That’s pretty clearly the right call, but credit the umps for making it; too often with a first offense like this warnings get issued, essentially letting the Marlins get away with something very dirty. The umpiring crew in this case realized the context from the previous few games as well, and they got it right. The Braves booth (even Joe Simpson!) had a very reasonable discussion on it, suggesting a ten-game suspension would be an adequate punishment for Ureña:

They’re also right in that it’s a very big deal for the Braves, who have a two game lead in the NL East and a decent chance to either win the division or make the Wild Card game. A healthy Acuña is a very big part of that effort. The Marlins, obviously, do not have those chances. Thankfully Acuña stayed in the game.

UPDATE: He actually didn’t.

Hopefully the injury isn’t serious, and whenever he returns, he’ll apparently have a chance to extend both streaks, which doesn’t quite seem like how streaks should work, but in this case who’s going to complain:

Ureña, meanwhile, joined a very short list of his own:

Of course John Lackey was the most recent example. That’s perfect.

Meanwhile, Acuña will have to wait for a chance to extend his overall homer streak to six games, which would be two short of tying the all-time record. But the Braves and Marlins do have further games Thursday and Friday. Hopefully Acuña can return there, extend the streak and runs the bases while staring into the Marlins dugout the entire time.

About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a columnist at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer. He is probably talking to a dog in a silly voice at this very moment.