The offering was well out of the strike zone, a 96-mph fastball on a 1-1 count from the Nationals' Stephen Strasburg. The right-hander ran it up toward Evan Gattis' shoulders, the kind of pitch that batters can embarrass themselves just trying to catch up to.
The Braves rookie rose out of his low crouch and planted his front foot. The 6-foot-4, 240 pounder took a wide cut upward and muscled the ball into left field for a two-run home run, his fourth of the season during Atlanta's 3-1 win Saturday in Washington, D.C.
"The guy is up there hacking, I threw one up at his neck and he tomahawks it out," Strasburg said. "You don't face a guy like that (every day). I don't really have any book to go off of."
Strasburg isn't alone.
The 26-year-old catcher, who before this season had never played above Double-A ball, is now hitting .324 with 10 RBI and a 1.120 OPS in 34 at-bats. He has as many home runs as the Royals and Rays and two more than the Marlins while playing in nine games.