Atlanta Braves win world series for first time in 26 years
HOUSTON, Texas - Most baseball fans would agree it's been a bumpy ride for the Atlanta Braves, but the team's challenging journey came to a successful conclusion Tuesday night in Houston's Minute Maid Park as the Braves won their first World Series title in 26 years with a 7-0 defeat of the Houston Astros.
According to ESPN, Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman summed up the win and the path his team traveled to reach it by saying, "We hit every pothole, every bump you could possibly hit this year, and somehow the car still made it onto the other side. It's just an incredible group."
The Braves led with strong pitching and three big home runs.
In the top of the third, Braves Jorge Soler, who was named Series MVP, hammered the eighth pitch from Astros starter Luis Garcia for a three-run home run after Ozzie Albies singled and Eddie Rosario walked around two flyouts.
Soler's third homer of the Series traveled about 446 feet, and it was the last pitch Garcia, starting on short rest, threw.
In the top of the fifth, the Braves continued to outpace the Astros with a 5-0 lead when Atlanta-area native Dansby Swanson crushed a two-run homer off Astros reliever Cristian Javier.
Albies scored ahead of Swanson.
As Soler stepped up to the plate, according to the Houston Chronicle, the pitch came in at 83 mph and ended up on a sidewalk outside the stadium.
"I knew I hit it well, but to be honest, immediately after I hit it, I turned around just to look at our dugout and start celebrating," Soler said.
A bit later, Freeman doubled home Soler, who had walked, which brought the score up to 6-0.
Freeman then blasted a solo home run in the top of the seventh off Houston's Ryne Stanek to bring the score to 7-0.
Atlanta starting pitcher Max Fried also had number of noteworthy moments on the field, striking out six in six innings and giving up just four singles. Two of those baserunners were erased on double plays, with Fried starting one of them.
Relievers Tyler Matzek and Will Smith pitched the last three innings and the three Braves hurlers combined to strike out 10, throwing 121 pitches, two-thirds of them for strikes.
The Astros had only six hits, all singles, and had just three at-bats with runners in scoring position.
The Braves entered this World Series with 16 consecutive postseason appearances without a title, but this game is a turning point for the team.
As the Braves' major league manager, Brian Snitker, received the World Series trophy from MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, Snitker couldn't quite find the words to express his feelings.
"I'm numb," he said. "I'm numb."
The title grants the city its first major professional sports league championship since Atlanta United won MLS Cup in 2018.
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