The Atlanta Braves set an all-time attendance record on Monday night for Game 2 of the NLDS against the Philadelphia Phillies. It was the second consecutive game with an attendance record in Atlanta. Last night, 43,898 fans packed the park.
The total was over 200 more than Game One's tally. I don't know where they are putting all these people, but it made for what had to be one of the most joyous, raucous, and loudest moments in baseball history.
The Braves tied the all-time home run record in 2023. They set a record for the highest team slugging percentage in baseball history. For crying out loud, their wRC+ tied the 1927 Yankees as the highest of all time. This is truly one of the greatest offenses history has ever witnessed. Yet, there we were last night in the fifth inning and zero runs to claim as our own during the postseason. How could this be happening?
13 innings. That's the most consecutive innings this Braves offense went during the regular season while not scoring a run. They began the postseason with 14.2 scoreless innings. Fans hadn't given up by the fifth but we were on the doorstep of despair. Ronald Acuna Jr. and Ozzie Albies breathed life into the sea of humanity in the fifth inning, breaking the scoreless streak on Albies' single to right. Acuna scored on the play thanks to a misplay of the ball by Trea Turner. We had a pulse.
The beats kept coming. From Travis d'Arnaud's homer to Austin Riley's go-ahead clutch homer in the eighth inning, the crowd was worked to a fever pitch when the Braves sent AJ Minter back out to face Harper in the ninth inning. Harper walked, putting the tying run on first and creating the type of climatic tension you need for the perfect ending to a great story.
Castellanos sent a rocket to centerfield and our hearts sank. The moment our hearts sank must have been the moment Bryce Harper decided he was going to score on the play. Then our hearts came back to life as we watched Michael Harris II close 96 feet on the ball's final destination. He lept in the air and made the catch of a lifetime. He followed that up with... just a terrible throw but Austin Riley was in the right place at the right time with the right amount of momentum going the right way. Everything was right in the universe.
The crowd erupted, I imagine, much the same way my household did. If there were a roof on the ballpark, it would have shattered. You could see the cameras shaking on the television broadcast and there wasn't a single person in that stadium sitting still. How could you?
Apparently, a couple of anomalies appeared around the same time that the historic catch was made. Braves fans were doing so much celebrating it caused the earth to literally shake. Even Mother Nature appreciates a great web gem.
I'll be honest with you, I don't know anything about the detection of seismic activity but I do know that Phillies fans tried to tweet similar stuff last year and it was not real. Some teams have placed seismometers inside of their stadiums and could barely register as a 1.0 magnitude quake. So, I won't say the fans at Truist Park registered as any sort of magnitude on the seismic scale, but that moment and that crowd registered an 8.9 magnitude in the annals of baseball history.