The next time Ronald Acua is hit, Eric O’Flaherty believes the Braves should react. He discussed this on a podcast with David O’Brien of The Athletic.

Brian Snitker, manager of the Atlanta Braves, must defend his players whether it was on purpose or not. There comes a time when enough is enough and another Ronald Acua HBP could have negative repercussions.

It should be noted that Snitker did not deny whether the Mets intentionally hit Acua when prompted by Atlanta media. The right fielder for the Braves is currently ok and will start Tuesday night’s game against the Miami Marlins. The teammates of Acua were visibly frustrated.

“In that spot, [Megill] was trying to go up and in,” catcher Sean Murphy said. “You wouldn’t throw at a guy 0-2 in that moment. But it still sucks. It gets guys riled up.”

Should Atlanta Braves fire back over Ronald Acuña?

This isn’t the first time Acuña has been at the center of a similar controversy. The Marlins, who Atlanta is facing starting Tuesday, have long been victims of Acuña’s wrath, and as a result have tried just about everything to avoid that fate — including scaring him off the plate. Side note: That has not worked.

On ‘755 is Real’, The Athletic’s Braves podcast, David O’Brien and Eric O’Flaherty discussed the possibility of retaliation for the next Acuña HBP.

In the podcast, linked here, O’Flaherty goes in detail about how he would’ve handled such a situation as a player. If a team’s best player is continually pitched up and in without a response, it sends a message to future opponents that this behavior is tolerated. Retaliation, or fear of a response, can change that.

Whether obvious or not, Atlanta needs to send a message to the rest of the league and Mets — pitch inside to Acuña at your own risk.