Atlanta Overcomes Decades of Frustration to Win World Series

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Atlanta 7, Houston 0 | Atlanta Wins World Series

A ascendant all-around effort secured a Game 6 win, allowing an 88-win squad to triumph implicit the top-scoring Astros.

In what could beryllium  his last  crippled  with Atlanta, Freddie Freeman homered successful  the seventh inning aft  having driven successful  a tally  with a treble  successful  the fifth.
Credit...Annie Mulligan for The New York Times

David Waldstein

Nov. 2, 2021, 11:33 p.m. ET

HOUSTON — So, this is the Braves squad that recovered a mode to lucifer the large Atlanta teams of the 1990s. This team, with nary trio of Hall of Fame aces, nary legendary manager and nary backlog of World Series acquisition to physique on, someway recovered a way.

The existent variation of Atlanta’s storied shot nine could ne'er adjacent the prima powerfulness of those forebears, but it has already drawn adjacent with them successful title trophies, achieving successful 1 travel to baseball’s mountaintop what its predecessors could bash lone erstwhile successful 5 tries.

On a chill Tuesday nighttime with the extortion unfastened astatine Minute Maid Park, Atlanta bushed the Houston Astros, 7-0, successful Game 6 to triumph the World Series successful its archetypal quality successful the Fall Classic since 1999.


Credit...Annie Mulligan for The New York Times

It was the archetypal rubric for the nine since 1995, backmost erstwhile an bonzer postulation of superstar pitchers and multitalented presumption players, backed by the Hall of Fame Manager Bobby Cox, won the archetypal large title for the metropolis of Atlanta.

Those large teams were expected to triumph aggregate rings. They did not triumph a rubric until their 3rd quality successful the World Series, playing successful 5 overall, and contempt a wealthiness of talent, ne'er won another.

The 2021 team, nether Manager Brian Snitker, features lesser-known players similar Jorge Soler and Dansby Swanson, some of whom deed thunderous location runs to propel Atlanta connected Tuesday. Soler blasted a three-run changeable successful the 3rd inning, and Swanson crushed a two-run homer successful the fifth.


Credit...Annie Mulligan for The New York Times

Many teams, similar the Mariners, Rockies, Rangers, Padres and Brewers, would happily judge a solitary championship. But the aged Atlanta teams, which won much than 100 games six times, bore the dense tag of underachievers, particularly with a pitching unit anchored by Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz, and the franchise won 14 consecutive divisional crowns (there was nary part rubric successful the strike-shortened 1994 season).

The existent squad bears scant resemblance to those teams, for it was not expected to marque the World Series this year, overmuch little triumph it. It is simply a plucky assemblage of overachievers that could hardly cobble unneurotic a afloat starting pitching staff, fto unsocial 1 of the top ever assembled.

But Max Fried was a worthy descendant of that lineage, pitching six innings for the win, and helping to reconstruct the representation of the starting pitcher successful a postseason dominated by relievers.


Credit...Annie Mulligan for The New York Times

The squad had a twelvemonth marked by injuries, and the contention surrounding Major League Baseball’s determination to determination the All-Star Game retired of Atlanta, but the Braves someway bent the remainder of shot to its will.

It each seemed truthful improbable backmost successful July erstwhile Atlanta mislaid its champion player, outfielder Ronald Acuña, Jr., to a torn genu ligament. In aboriginal August, the squad was a crippled nether .500 and successful 3rd spot successful the National League East. The Braves won lone 88 games, the fewest of the 10 playoff teams, and past mislaid their apical pitcher, Charlie Morton, to a breached limb successful the 2nd inning of Game 1 of the World Series.

But successful the postseason, they built disconnected their comparatively humble streak of 4 consecutive N.L. East titles. In the archetypal 2 of those years, they mislaid successful the divisional round, past past twelvemonth they graduated to the National League Championship Series earlier falling to the Los Angeles Dodgers aft starring the bid 3 games to one.

They exacted revenge connected Los Angeles this year, won their archetypal pennant since 1999, and made the astir of the accidental by clinching the World Series successful six games, avoiding the specter of a Game 7 successful Houston.


Credit...Annie Mulligan for The New York Times

Game 6 began amid a noisy throng of orange-clad Houston fans hoping to spot their squad decorativeness a comeback from a three-games-to-one deficit. But erstwhile Soler deed his atmospheric blast an estimated 446 feet wide implicit the bid tracks supra the near tract stands, galore Atlanta fans revealed themselves amid the abruptly quiescent Astros fans.

Luis Garcia, Houston’s starting pitcher, was 1 onslaught distant from escaping the inning, but hung a slider to Soler, who smashed it onto the thoroughfare extracurricular the stadium. Soler dropped his bat, turned to his dugout, tapped his thorax doubly and pointed to his teammates earlier trotting astir the bases.

It was his 3rd location tally of the series, and helium joined Hank Aaron, who did the aforesaid successful 1957 for the Milwaukee Braves, Lonnie Smith (1991) and Ryan Klesko (1995) arsenic the franchise’s lone players to deed 3 location runs successful a World Series.

In the fifth, Swanson, the No. 9 hitter, blasted a two-run location tally disconnected Cristian Javier.


Credit...Annie Mulligan for The New York Times

Freddie Freeman, Atlanta’s longest-serving and best-known player, deed a bases-empty changeable successful the seventh that on with his R.B.I. treble successful the 5th accounted for the last 2 Atlanta runs of the night.

Atlantans person yearned to spot plays similar that, conscionable arsenic they person longed for different champion for astir of the past 26 years, but often recovered sporting heartbreak instead.

Atlanta mislaid the World Series successful 1991, 1992, 1996 and 1999, and the N.F.L.’s Falcons catastrophically collapsed successful the Super Bowl aft the 2016 season, erstwhile the New England Patriots wiped retired a 25-point shortage with a small implicit 18 minutes to play and won the crippled successful overtime. The city’s Major League Soccer team, Atlanta United, won the M.L.S. Cup successful 2018, but had existed for lone 2 years astatine that point.

The Braves besides won championships successful Boston successful 1914 and successful Milwaukee successful 1957. In the 19th century, 1 of the team's aboriginal incarnations successful Boston won the World Series of 1892.

The Astros missed their accidental to triumph a title devoid of taint and controversy. Houston won the World Series successful 2017 but was aboriginal recovered to person utilized illicit means to bargain and transmit opponents’ signals passim the season. The strategy came to airy earlier the 2020 season, and ever since the Astros person been heckled arsenic “cheaters” by fans of opposing teams.

The Astros fired their manager, A.J. Hinch, successful the aftermath of the scandal, and replaced him with Dusty Baker, the fashionable skipper who has yet to triumph a World Series successful 24 seasons arsenic a manager — though helium is the lone manager to instrumentality 5 antithetic teams to the postseason. Baker managed the Giants erstwhile they mislaid to the Angels successful Game 7 of the 2002 World Series.

Houston, which fell to the Washington Nationals successful 2019, mislaid the World Series astatine location for the 2nd clip successful 3 years. The Astros’ chances of winning adjacent twelvemonth could beryllium diminished if their shortstop, Carlos Correa, chooses to permission successful escaped agency. The Astros person mislaid different cardinal players implicit the years, including the prima pitcher Gerrit Cole, and inactive managed to find a mode back.

For now, they are stuck connected 1 title, conscionable similar the Atlanta teams of the 1990s — whose postseason struggles were not inherited by the improbable 2021 team.

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