The Braves beat Milwaukee 3-1 and access the Championship for the second consecutive time, confirming the excellent work of Brian Snitker, veteran skipper among the best in the league, despite the seasonal injury of Acuna Jr and the legal problems of Ozuna, the two stars of the lineup along with Freeman.
It will be the team’s flag, MVP 2020, the protagonist of the series and in particular of race 4, the decisive one, thanks to the home run in the eighth inning against the glacial Hader, which will give Atlanta the decisive advantage with which to book the trip in California. A game all in comeback this, with first the pinch hitter Rosario to equalize the initial 2-0 Brewers (Narvaez and Cain) and then Pederson and d’Arnaud the 4-2 of Tellez (hr).
Previously we had witnessed a low-scoring challenge in race 1, thanks to the guarantees of Corbin Burnes – NL Cy Young contender – and Charlie Morton, among the best on the mountain since mid-June, with 1.8 runs suffered. The 91 pitches of the former, assisted by those of Houser and Hader, will combine a 4-hitter, while the former Astros will send K 9 men.
However, Rowdy Tellez will be the hero of the day, despite the 1 out of 13 against Atlanta in the regular season, both for the decisive home run during the low seventh inning, and for the double elimination of Albies and Soler at the beginning of the match on a rebounding a semi-charged bases, thanks to the valuable home take of Narvaez. Joc Pederson will then sign the home run in the eighth for the definitive 2-1 Brewers, orphans of the Williams (setup) and Suter reliefs.
Race 2 follows the trend of the first, with the score controlled by the pitchers and by excellent eliminations on the shot, equivalent to only 13 total hits and statistics in the box in sharp decline (Braves 11-64 / .173, Brewers 11-60 / .183 ). The protagonist of the final 0-3 Atlanta will be Max Fried, now returned to the Olympus major after the shocking start (ERA 11.45), and then confirmed as a glacial pitcher with a lower average PGL among all the starters since August (7-0 at 1.46).
After 81 pitches in 7 innings for 9 strikeouts and 18 eliminated he will give way to Jackson, Matzek and the 37 SV closer Will Smith. The opinion on Woodruff is different, although his performance will not be negative at all, but Freeman’s single, Albies’ double in the high third and Riley’s home run on changeup during the sixth will mean runs all at his expense.
Crossroads and sliding doors of game 3 and of the whole series will be the fifth inning, where a flawless Ian Anderson will start the trouble on the mountain and Chavez and Matzek will be alerted several times in the bullpen by Snitker’s calls.
Instead, after 21 pitches including a hit by pitch and Narvaez’s double, the elimination at home base of Urias and that of Wong will keep the score without scoring. Not only that, but shortly afterwards Joc Pederson, who has just taken over from his own pitcher, will send Houser’s four seam off the field, replacing the as usual excellent Freddy Peralta. Only two valid each will not change the 0-2 Braves, and the closer Smith will replicate his first career salvation from Game 1 postseason.
The strongest and most complete team wins in the three phases, thanks to the mix of veterans / young prodigies and the ability of an excellent staff to make the most of every deadline graft (Pederson, Soler, Eddie Rosario and Duvall).
Atlanta will now certainly give a hard time to the Giants or Dodgers battleships, perhaps avoiding the humiliating sweep and aiming for 2 W to exit at least once again head-on from the postseason.