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Game 176 // Second Inning // The Braves Score 29 Runs

Just look at that box score. All those voluptuous, perfect numbers.

This might’ve been the best offensive game ever.




Football has started early, down in Atlanta.

With a final score of 29-9.




Baseball. 2020. Twenty-nine. To Nine.




Imagine scoring nine runs, you think to yourself, and losing by 20.




By the fifth inning, the Braves already had 22 runs.

And in the second alone, they scored eleven—the highest of any team in an inning this year.




It went like this, that second inning—that first spring-loaded leap toward the all-time N.L. record for runs in a game:


Swanson single.

Riley walk.

Duvall walk.

Albies groundout.

Inciarte sac fly.

Two outs.

Acuna walk.

Freeman single.

Ozuna single.

D’Arnaud home run.

Swanson single. 

Riley single.

Duvall home run.

Albies home run.

Inciarte groundout.


The biggest inning of this MLB season.

The highest-scoring game in Braves history.

And then, in National League history. Almost in MLB history, missing it by one run.






On the same day Milwaukee won 19-0, the Braves made that look like a road trip dad joke of a baseball game. Corny. Lame. Weak. Embarrassing.

Atlanta, Georgia: where 29-9 is real baseball. Where football scores, weird football scores, flash up on the jumbo-tron, before a brand new but completely empty stadium, with a first-place team playing the best offense the franchise has ever seen.

Baseball, 2020—it doesn’t know what to do with itself.

Having sunk into depression, thinking it might be given a year off. Then a dance and a skip, hearing it might be back in July. Then a tear running down its cheek, finding out there’d be no fans.

And now, halfway through September, 2020 Baseball is into a spastic hyperventilation spiral—ecstatic and bizarre and you don’t know what it’s doing, you don’t know what it wants, but you just know that you can not, and should not, take one look away.






To nine.


Baseball 2020.