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Atlanta Braves win first world series title since 1995

HOUSTON, TEXAS – NOVEMBER 02: Manager Brian Snitker #43 of the Atlanta Braves hoists the commissioner’s trophy following the team’s 7-0 victory against the Houston Astros in Game Six to win the 2021 World Series at Minute Maid Park on November 02, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

The Atlanta Braves defeated the Houston Astros 7-0 in game six of the World Series to clinch their first World Series victory since the 1995 season on Tuesday. In a season where the Braves lost their superstar outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. for the rest of the year, they revitalized their team at the trade deadline by trading for Joc Pederson, Adam Duvall, Eddie Rosario and Jorge Soler. Rosario was named the National League Championship Series MVP, and Soler went on to hit homers in games one, four and six in the World Series, earning WS MVP honors. This was the first time in history mid-season acquisitions were named the LCS and WS most valuable players. 

Some say it’s not the best team in baseball that goes on to win the World Series, but rather the team that gets hot at the right time. Atlanta sure got hot when it mattered. In fact, they did not even hold first place in their division for the majority of the season. Prior to the deadline, the Braves were 52-55. They were given a 0.4% chance to win it all. But the right series of moves and a level-headed, old-school manager in Brian Snitker was able to right the ship and take his team to their first championship in 26 years. Snitker is famous for the fact that he does not look at the standings until the All-Star break, and in an era of advanced statistics and analytics, maybe more managers need to learn a thing or two from the Braves veteran who has been there for over 40 years.  

This Braves team was well built, and going into October, really lacked any true weaknesses. Atlanta defeated the NL Central champion Milwaukee Brewers in the NLDS, beat one of the best on-paper teams in the league, the Los Angeles Dodgers, in the NLCS and eventually beat a Houston Astros team in a series that left little doubt who would be hoisting the Commissioner’s Trophy at the end of it.   

The Braves, even after the loss of starting pitcher Mike Soroka for the season, put together one of the best rotations in the game led by Charlie Morton, Max Fried and Ian Anderson. Their bullpen was spearheaded by the trio of A.J. Minter, Tyler Matzek and Will Smith. They built an elite infield of Austin Riley, Dansby Swanson and Ozzie Albies. Their outfield, all of which played for another team at one point this season, became the first group to hit 12 home runs in a single postseason. But in mentioning the success of these Braves players, one man stands out- Freddie Freeman. Freeman has been in the Braves system since he was just 17 years old. He has been through the ups and downs of trying to find success in the MLB, and it was only right he recorded the last out of the series.  

Game six starter Max Fried delivered a performance for the ages. After getting roughed up in his first start of the series at Houston, Fried tossed six scoreless frames, gave up only four hits, issued zero walks, and struck out six batters on just 74 pitches. He became the first pitcher in MLB history to strike out six or more without issuing a run or a walk in a potential clincher. The shutout victory over the Astros was the first time since 2005 the victor held their opponent scoreless in a game that decided the series.  

Most middle of the pack teams will sell off their star players and hope for a better season the next year, but Atlanta created a blueprint on how to win a championship while battling multiple different levels of adversity. Now they have a banner to hang because of it. General manager Alex Anthopoulos, manager Brian Snitker and his roster of guys who never quit are the reason Atlanta gets to celebrate its first championship in over two decades. To Braves fans, party like it’s 1995.  

All stats courtesy of, Baseball Reference and Bleacher Report 

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