Hammerin ‘Braves wins 1st WS crown since 1995, beats Astros 7-0 – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports
HOUSTON (AP) – Most of the season it looked like it wasn’t their year.
They lost their first four games and the injuries quickly accumulated. They lost their most dynamic player before the All-Star break. They were stuck below 0.500 in August.
Yet suddenly out of nowhere these Atlanta Braves transformed and took off.
Jorge Soler, Freddie Freeman and the Braves won their first World Series championship since 1995, beating the Houston Astros 7-0 on Tuesday night in Game 6.
How proud The Hammer himself would have been.
Max Fried pitched six white innings in the series’ signature pitcher performance. Soler, a July acquisition that tested positive for COVID-19 in the playoffs, backed him up early with a monster three-point shot for his third homerun against the Astros.
Freeman netted an RBI brace, then punctuated the play with a solo homerun in the seventh that took him to 7-0.
At that point, it was a total team effort. Struggling star Ronald Acuña Jr., Atlanta’s dynamo of the future, stepped out of the canoe to join in the celebration of Freeman, the franchise’s longtime face.
A simple afterthought in the summer heat in the land of the Giants, White Sox and Dodgers, but beautiful in the Fall Classic.
Soler tapped his heart twice before starting his circuit trot after connecting rookie Luis Garcia in the third inning, knocking the ball completely out of Minute Maid Park. Dansby Swanson also scored and in the final exit nothing could stop them.
Not a broken leg suffered by starter Charlie Morton in World Series opener. Not a big lead in the game 5.
Backed by 66-year-old manager Brian Snitker, a four-decade-long organizing man, underdog Braves won the franchise’s fourth title.
Think of it as a tribute to the Braves’ greatest player of all, Mr. Hank Aaron. The Hall of Fame hitter passed away Jan. 22 at the age of 86, still rooted for his former team, and his legacy has been marked throughout this series.
For Dusty Baker, the manager of Houston, 72, a disappointment. But for many fans still rooted against the Astros in the wake of their sign-stealing scandal in 2017, some satisfaction.
Major credit for the Braves also goes to general manager Alex Anthopoulos. Undeterred by Acuña’s knee injury, he managed a flurry of deals in July that brought the Fab Four to the outfield – NL Championship Series MVP Eddie Rosario, Adam Duvall, Joc Pederson and Soler.
But even in the age of analytics, guided by a CEO who is well versed in new technology, the path these Braves take would not correspond to any computer. Especially with the way things were going mid-season.
“At that point, we were looking,” third baseman Austin Riley said before Game 6. “I think there is no doubt about it. “
Minus Acuña, Atlanta had no more than 0.500 for a single day until the first week of August. The Braves finished 88-73 for the 12th best record in majors and fewest wins among teams in the playoffs; their winning tally was the lowest for a World Series champion since St. Louis’s 83 in 2006.
Plus, the agonizing history of sports in Atlanta, a city where no team had won titles in the big four professional sports outside of 1995.
The Braves couldn’t convert a three-game-to-one advantage over the Dodgers in the NL Championship Series last year. The Hawks failed in the NBA Finals last season. And then there was the big problem, the Falcons gave the Patriots a 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl.
But these Braves, not this time.
Favored in spring training to win their fourth straight title in the NL East, the Braves lost Acuña to a torn knee in July. Earlier, 2020 Triple Crown contender Marcell Ozuna was injured and then placed on leave while Major League Baseball investigated him as part of its domestic violence policy. The projected Mike Soroka has never recovered from an injury to Achilles.
Before the playoffs, their bullpen was a crazy patchwork.
They had a guy who made his big-league debut in October, a left-hander who pitched in 2019 for the Texas AirHogs in a now-defunct independent league, and a right-hander who stacked boxes in an appliance warehouse there. has a decade. Add a rookie who wasn’t on the roster a week ago while watching Game 1 at a suburban Atlanta hotel.
Of course, many fans across the country were rooting hard against Jose Altuve and the Houston squad. Many continue to heckle them as “Cheatin ‘Astros” for an illegal sign-stealing scheme on their way to their 2017 title, and those feelings could go on forever.
Certainly, a lot of people applauded Baker. A World Series winner as a player and a highly respected figure on and off the pitch, he couldn’t tick the last box on his CV as a championship skipper.
The crowns of the Braves span over a century.
The 1995 Atlanta Champions featured five future Hall of Fame members – rookie Chipper Jones, aces Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux and John Smoltz, and manager Bobby Cox. These rings were the only material elements resulting from 14 consecutive division titles.
The 1957 Milwaukee Braves were coached by Aaron in his only NL MVP season. His 44 was painted in large numbers on the grass of the outfield at Truist Park, and Baker and Snitker often mentioned how much he meant to them.
There were also the Boston Braves of 1914, nicknamed the “Miracle Braves” at the time. In last place on July 4, they surged to win the pennant and then upset a highly favored team – the Philadelphia A’s – to earn their nickname.
The Braves’ previous title came to Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, their first home after moving from Milwaukee to the Deep South in 1966. Then there was Turner Field before the team uprooted downtown and decided. to expand into the suburbs.
Truist Park was packed and the outdoor plazas were packed on the weekends, and bustling crowds filled Minute Maid Park.
Quite a change from last October. Only limited capacity was allowed for this World Series as the Dodgers beat Tampa Bay at an on-site stadium in Arlington, TX – which followed a full shutout for fans in a shortened regular season due to the coronavirus.
Now all of baseball is waiting to see if spring training is on the bridge in just over three months. A feud between owners and players soon threatens to shut down the sport.
In the meantime, sport can savor a year in which things slowly started to return to normal.
Braves: A victory party and possibly a parade.
Astros: Scheduled to begin spring training schedule Feb. 26 against St. Louis.
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