Yes, tonight was the Ronald Acuna Show. Of that, there is no doubt.
Ronald Acuna Jr goes deep for the 2nd straight night pic.twitter.com/fGqHPErLcf— Brodes Media (@BrodesMedia) September 18, 2022
This Ronald Acuña Jr. throw pic.twitter.com/5g8qncdjxL— Bally Sports South (@BallySportsSO) September 18, 2022
Ronald Acuña Jr. is electric, but you already knew that pic.twitter.com/9oCLQ4AR04— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) September 18, 2022
Ronald Acuña Jr. is just torturing the Phillies in every way possible tonight. He is good.— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) September 18, 2022
When a player almost single handedly beats a team, there isn’t much more you can do that tip your cap to that player, particularly one as exciting as Acuna is.
What’s frustrating about the game tonight is a few things.
1) As much as I want to believe that Aaron Nola is an ace, these September starts where he is giving up four or more runs to the opposition are annoying. I know, I know, the data says he is still one of the top pitchers in the game, one that is absolutely deserving of being in the Cy Young award conversation this year. Without him this year, the team would have been in a lot of trouble. Yet once again, in a start in September where the team really needed him, especially after the disappointing loss a night ago, he couldn’t deliver. Completely his fault? Of course not (we’ll get to that in a second). But from just watching it anecdotally, the Phillies never felt in this game once Nola faltered.
2) Where is the offense at? They, as a group, did stage a late comeback and the play by Acuna on Harper’s line drive was highway robbery, but they looked utterly listless through the first parts of the game. It’s been a problem of late and they deserve a lot of criticism, especially since they haven’t really played tough teams (the Braves notwithstanding). If these past two games were playoff previews, the Phillies are failing them. Miserably.
It still is just one game and in the long run, they should be fine. But after watching them, there is a decided lack of confidence that they can do anything of note in the playoffs, should they reach them.