With the World Series over and the champions crowned, the 2021 Major League Baseball season play is officially over. Most of us know by now that the Atlanta Braves have won the 117th Fall Classic in somewhat of an upset. The Braves won only 88 games, which was a worse record than four of five teams in the AL East (those being the Rays with 100 wins, the Red Sox and Yankees, 92 apiece, and the Blue Jays, who had 91) and seven less than their opponent in the National League Division Series, the Milwaukee Brewers. However, that record was deceiving, as they would prove.
After finishing off the Brew Crew in four games, Atlanta advanced to the National League Championship Series to face the then-reigning World Champion Los Angeles Dodgers. LA was a 106-win juggernaut who had just barely managed to knock off the rival San Francisco Giants on a somewhat questionable check-swing call by the umpires. Most people saw the Braves’ chances to beat LA as slim at best. However, Atlanta powered through on the backs of two walk-off wins, great starting pitching and a home run barrage.
Braves left fielder Eddie Rosario was named the NLCS (National League Championship Series) MVP, after batting an incredible .560 for the series and having himself a dominant Game 4, where he went 4-5 with 2 HRs and 4 RBIs, while also being only a double away from the cycle.
Fresh off their second upset of the postseason, the Braves flew to Houston to take on the 95-win Astros. Atlanta outfielder Jorge Soler set the tone by crushing the third pitch of the World Series into Houston’s left-field Crawford Boxes, a solo home run, setting the Braves up 1-0 instantly. The Astros managed to put up a strong showing in Games 2 and 5, but in the end fell short as Atlanta bested them four games to two. The Braves would not have made it there, however, if they hadn’t acquired an outfield trio of Soler, Pederson and Duvall, all of whom produced down the stretch and had big moments in the postseason.
Henry Bushey is a CVU student with an interest in journalism, particularly in sports writing. He lives in Charlotte.