Party like it’s 1995


Photo by Kevin Read

The Yankees and Red Sox lineup for the National Anthem before the American League Wild Card game. The Red Sox would later win 6-2 to advance to the division series.

When you think of the word “playoff”, your mind gravitates towards packed stadiums, upbeat atmospheres, and the pinnacle of the baseball season. However, during last year’s COVID season, this mental image was reinvented. After concluding the 2020-2021 season, it’s safe to say the thirty team hunt to the World Series was back and better than ever. Upset after upset, controversy after controversy, and everything else in between, an unlikely champion was crowned. On November 2nd, 2021, the Atlanta Braves were crowned champions at Minute Maid Park. This was their road to victory.


Brewers v Braves: The Milwaukee Brewers dominated in the regular season; at the forefront of their success the elite pitching trio consisting of Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burns, and Freddy Peralta. The Atlanta Braves who blew a 3-1 lead to the Dodgers in last year’s playoffs were looking for a different result this year. Rowdy Tellez’s two-run home run was the difference in Game One, lifting the Brewers to a 2-1 victory. In Game Two, Braves starting pitcher Max Fried along with their bullpen, threw a shutout winning game, 3-0. The Brewers- bats continued to stay cold in Atlanta through Game Three. The Braves dominated with their pitching and won 3-0. Milwaukee with their backs against the wall needed to win Game Four. The Brewers bats woke up to take a 4-2 lead in the fifth inning. However, in the bottom of the inning, the Braves tied it at four. Freddie Freeman, who has been with the Braves since 2010, hit the go-ahead and later series-winning solo home run.     


Dodgers v Braves: This was a rematch of last year’s NLCS, when the Dodgers came back from a 3-1 deficit. After a hard fought five game series with the San Francisco Giants, the Dodgers were looking to repeat the past. Atlanta was looking to flip the page, and write a new story. An electric Game One in Atlanta had some tense moments. The Dodgers in the seventh inning, with the game tied at two, had a runner on third with no outs. Los Angeles would not score and later lost due to an Austin Riley game winning walk-off single. Game Two was a tight one as well. The Braves in a comeback effort tied the game at four entering the ninth. Atlanta’s Eddie Rosario hit another walk-off single, which bounced off Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager’s glove. Back in Los Angeles, the Dodgers needed to win Game Three. Giving up five runs and only scoring two heading into the eighth was not a part of the plan. A Hollywood comeback ensued with the Dodgers scoring four runs in the bottom of the eighth giving the Dodgers a much needed victory. The future NLCS MVP Eddie Rosario showed the world his talents in Game Four. Going 4 for 5 with two home runs Rosario helped the Braves win Game Four with ease. Now up three games to one in the series, the Braves were in the driver’s seat, but a 3-1 lead is never safe for any Atlanta team. The Dodgers won Game Five. Fans everywhere questioned- will Atlanta repeat the past? The answer to that would be no, as the Braves defeated the Dodgers 4-2 advancing to the World Series, looking to get their first title since 1995.    

World Series:

Braves v Astros: The “Cheaters” vs the “Chokers”, the exclamation point on the Cinderella story for the Braves. The story of Game One was headlined by Braves pitcher Charlie Morton. Morton was hit by a comebacker early in the game that fractured his leg. He would end up exiting the game later; nonetheless, he pitched well throughout. The Braves won Game One. Houston got their bats hot early in Game Two. Five runs were scored in the first two innings. In the end, that would be the difference maker as Houston won Game Two. The series shifted back to Atlanta where the Braves reinstated their pitching dominance. In the next eighteen innings between Games Three and Four, the Atlanta pitching staff only allowed two runs. The Braves would go on to win both games. In the potential series-clinching Game Five, Atlanta started off on a high note. Adam Duvall hit a grand slam in the first inning; however, this would be the last thing the Atlanta home crowd would cheer for. Houston woke up their bats again, and won Game Five 9-5. The series then shifted back to Houston. The Braves played their most complete and best game of the season in Game Six. With only seven hits, the Braves managed to score seven runs and destroyed the Astros. The city of Atlanta brought home the trophy for the first time since 1995.

     “We’ve had so many ups and downs this year, and for us to be world champions, that is awesome to hear,” Said Freeman after the game.