2021 World Series — Braves and Astros


Ron Griffitts

Contributing columnist

In October, 2021 the Atlanta Braves (88-73) managed by Brian Snitker with president Alex Anthopoulos met the Houston Astros (95-67) managed by Dusty Baker with general manager James Click.

The Braves, playing in their 10th World Series, got past the Milwaukee Brewers 3-1 and the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-2 to get to the fall classic and were led on offense by Freddie Freeman (31 HR, .300 BA, 120 RS), Ozzie Albers ( 30 HR, 106 RBI, 103 RS, 20 SB), Dansby Swanson ( 27 HR). Also Ronald Acuna, Jr. (24 HR) who was injured in mid-season and replaced by Adam Duvall (16 HR) and Jorge Soler (14 HR) who played the second half of the season for the Braves.

Their pitching staff was anchored by Charlie Morton 14-6, Max Fried 14-7, Ian Anderson 9-5, and Drew Smyly 11-4 with Will Smith in the bullpen with 37 saves.

The Astros, appearing in their third World Series in five years after appearing in only one in the previous 54 years, were led on offense by Jose Altuve (31 HR, 117 RS), Carlos Correa (26 HR, 92 RBI, 104 RS), Kyle Tucker (30 HR, 92 RBI, .294 BA), Yordan Alvarez (33 HR, 104 RBI, 92 RS), Michael Brantley (.311 BA) and Yuli Gurriel (.319).

Starters Zach Greinke 11-6, Lance McCullers, Jr. 13-5, Luis Garcia 11-8, Frankie Valdez 11-6 and Jose Urquidy 8-3, joined Ryan Pressly with 26 saves and a 2.25 ERA in the bullpen.

Game one was in Houston with Dusty Baker in his 25th year as a manager seeking his first World Series title as a manager (he had one with the Dodgers as a player in 1981) facing the Braves who had the fifth best record in the National League.

Charlie Morton started for the Atlanta but was hit on the leg by a line drive and had to leave the game and was out for the series. But, five Braves pitchers combined to hold the Astros to two runs and with the help of home runs by former Cincinnati Red Adam Duvall and Jorge Soler, the Braves took game one 6-2.

In game two, it was the Astros’ pitching that held the Braves to just two runs as they evened the series at one game each with a 7-2 victory. Jose Altuve homered for the winners and Travis d’Arnaud added one for Atlanta.

For game three the teams switched to Truist Park in Atlanta and again the Atlanta pitching came through, this time for a two hit shutout, including five hit-less innings by starter Ian Anderson for a 2-0 win to pull ahead in the series 2-1.

Travis d’Arnaud added another home run for Atlanta.

Game four was close with the Astros leading 2-1 going into the bottom of the seventh inning until Dansby Swanson and Jorge Soler hit consecutive solo home runs to give Atlanta a 3-2 lead which held up and was the final score to give Atlanta a 3-1 lead in the series.

Game five saw the Houston bats come alive with twelve hits and nine runs including three RBI each for Carlos Correa and Yuli Urriel as the Astros win 9-5 and the teams go back to Houston with Atlanta leading three games to two.

Adam Duvall and Freddie Freeman had home runs for the Braves.

Game six was in Minute Maid Park in Houston as Atlanta tried to win their first World Series title since 1995. Their starter Max Fried pitched brilliantly holding the Astros to only four hits and no runs in six innings and Jorge Soler helped out with a three run home run in the third inning which proved to be all the runs Atlanta needed as they went on to a 7-0 win and their fourth World Series title.

They are the only team to win a World Series representing three different cities as they won while playing in Boston, Milwaukee and Atlanta.

Jorge Soler, who only two seasons earlier had 48 home runs for Kansas City, got the series MVP. Dansby Swanson and Freddie Freeman also had home runs for Atlanta in game six.

Statistics for this article were from baseball-reference.com.

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