Braves' Travis d'Arnaud creates pandemonium with walk-off in home opener

Atlanta's catcher provided fans with something to be excited about in a thrilling home opener.
Arizona Diamondbacks v Atlanta Braves
Arizona Diamondbacks v Atlanta Braves / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

Atlanta Braves fans experienced every emotion possible during Friday night's home opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Arizona is the reigning NL champion and reminded fans last night why that is the case.

Things were lined up for a great night as the Braves had their ace Spencer Strider on the mound and one of the best offenses in baseball at their disposal. Unfortunately, he did not have a great outing.

He struggled with locating his pitches and eventually resorted to throwing a lot of breaking balls. Spencer's fastball velocity started normal but dipped down to the 94-96 mph range. This had fans concerned something wasn't right as Strider was done after four innings. He allowed five runs with three walks and four strikeouts through 88 pitches. It was announced after the game that Strider was experiencing elbow discomfort and would get an MRI on Saturday.

Atlanta was in a 3-0 deficit after the first inning, sucking the life out of Truist Park. Luckily, the Braves gave fans some early signs of hope as they scored one run in the bottom half of the first. Matt Olson then hit a home run to right-center field in the third bringing Atlanta within a run of Arizona.

The D-Backs then added two more runs in the fourth and Atlanta wouldn't manufacture another run until the eighth inning. They had their chances but couldn't seem to get the big hit they needed.

Acuna laced an RBI double in the eighth inning to bring Atlanta within two runs, setting the stage for a ninth-inning comeback. Everything seemed to go the Braves way that inning as Austin Riley reached thanks to an error and was driven in on a rocket double by Olson.

Kelenic pinch-hit for Adam Duvall and popped up an inside fastball to left field. It appeared he was going to pop out but instead, the ball dropped in between Arizona's shortstop and left fielder. Olson scored, tying things up at five runs apiece. However, Harris struck out and Arcia grounded out, sending us to extra innings. Truist Park was rocking after the ninth inning and closer Raisel Iglesias threw a scoreless top of the 10th.

With the extra innings rule, Atlanta had a runner on second with Forrest Wall checking in as a pinch runner for Arcia. Wall's speed is a deadly weapon for the Braves so he was the perfect choice. Braves catcher Travis d'Arnaud stepped to the plate hoping to send fans home happy.

TDA quickly found himself in an 0-2 count but after taking a slider in the dirt on the third pitch of the at-bat, Travis sent the sellout home crowd into a frenzy.

On a high and inside 93 mph, d'Arnaud absolutely laid into the baseball sending it screaming through the night sky. It looked like a home run off the bat but ended up getting over the head of Lourdes Gurriel in left field for a walk-off RBI single. Atlanta had stunned the Diamondbacks for a 6-5 win.

Truist was rocking with energy after this as Atlanta walked off in their home opener for the second year in a row. Orlando Arcia sent fans home happy after doing the same in the first home game of the 2023 season.

With Sean Murphy being injured, d'Arnaud will be getting a bulk of the playing time until he returns. This is exactly why Atlanta made sure to keep Travis around. He may be in the latter half of his career but he is still performing incredibly well.

It was a perfect veteran at-bat as he was in a two-strike count and knew he needed to shorten his swing and just put the ball in play. He knew with Wall's speed a single would be all they needed.

One of the best parts of the walk-off was seeing Jarred Kelenic be one of the first people to greet Travis at first to celebrate. He looked like he was having a blast and that is why Kelenic has been performing so well. He feels valued in Atlanta and that can work wonders for anyone who was struggling.

This such an exciting moment and shows why the Braves are a dangerous team and you can never really count them out. This won't be the last time Atlanta provides fans with an exciting moment.

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