MLB

World Series 2021: Snitker and Freeman hail Braves' resilience on road to becoming MLB champions

By Sports Desk November 02, 2021

Atlanta Braves manager Brian Snitker and star Freddie Freeman lauded the team's resilience in overcoming obstacles on the road to winning their first World Series since 1995.

The Braves claimed the best-of-seven World Series 4-2 thanks to a 7-0 win over the Houston Astros in Game 6, becoming the eighth side in a row to clinch the title away from home.

The triumph is Atlanta's first championship in 26 years, while it comes after they lost star outfield Ronaldo Acuna Jr. in July due to an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury along with starting pitcher Charlie Morton to a fractured fibula in Game 1 of the World Series.

Atlanta had off-field issues too, with two-time All-Star Marcell Ozuna placed on the commissioner's exempt list after being arrested and charged with aggravated assault in May.

The Braves traded in Alex Duvall and acquired Joc Pederson in July, with both hitting three home runs during the postseason, along with 10 and nine RBIs respectively.

"These guys never gave up on themselves. We used a lot of guys," Snitker said during the post-game ceremony.

"We lost a lot of pieces over the course of the summer. It was just the next man up. These guys never stopped believing in themselves.

"They never stopped working. I've got a rock star coaching staff that make sure these guys stay consistent every day. They always played the game the way you're supposed to play it."

Freeman, who has been with the Braves since 2010 and won last season's National League (NL) MVP, hailed the side's resilience.

"I think the most gratifying thing is this team, we hit every pothole, every bump that could've happened this year," Freeman said. "Injuries, everything that could've gone wrong. We overcame every single one of those things.

"This group came very single day, prepared and worked and worked and worked and ended up world champions."

Freeman, who padded the lead with a seventh-inning solo home run, added: "This is what you dream about every single year. You come to spring training wanting this to happen and it happened this year.

"It means everything. We've been waiting for a championship in this city for a long time. I'm glad we delivered it."

Snitker has spent all of his 45 seasons in professional baseball with the Braves, including the past six years as manager.

"It takes a lot to make this happen," Snitker said. "I'm very proud of our organisation and this club. There's nothing better. We're world champions."

Jorge Soler was named World Series MVP after hitting three go-ahead home runs across the six games. He becomes the second Cuban to claim the honour, behind Livan Hernandez with the Florida Marlins in 1997.

Soler also becomes the sixth player to hit three or more go-ahead home runs in a World Series, joining Babe Ruth (1926), Lou Gehrig (1928), Gene Tenace (1972), Curtis Granderson (2015) and George Springer (2017).

"I was just really focused during that at-bat," Soler said about his third-inning go-ahead three-run blast. "I feel like he'd thrown my every pitch he had in his arsenal so I just kept fouling the pitchers off and eventually got to that 3-2 count and he hung the slider and I was able to drive it."

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    Brandon Nimmo drove in four runs and had three of the New York Mets' season-high 22 hits as Major League Baseball's hottest team rolled to a 14-2 victory over the Texas Rangers on Monday.

    Francisco Lindor went 4 for 4 and knocked in two runs as the Mets won their sixth consecutive contest while collecting their most hits in a game since recording 23 against the Atlanta Braves on Aug. 15, 2019.

    Nimmo had a two-run homer among his three hits and DJ Stewart added a three-run blast as New York battered Texas starter Jon Gray for nine runs and 11 hits in just three-plus innings.

    Pete Alonso, Mark Vientos and Francisco Alvarez also had three hits each to support a solid start from David Peterson, who allowed two runs and struck out six over six innings to move to 3-0.

    After Lindor singled to open the game and later scored on Alonso's base hit to put the Mets up early, New York broke open the game with six runs in the second.

    Lindor's single brought in Vientos for a 2-0 lead and Nimmo followed with a run-scoring hit of his own to extend the margin. Alonso made it 4-0 with his second RBI single of the night before Stewart launched Gray's pitch into the right field seats to cap the big inning.

    Peterson served up Robbie Grossman's two-run homer in the third inning that got the Rangers on the board, but Nimmo followed Lindor's single in the fourth with his eighth home run of the season to give New York a 9-2 advantage.

    The Mets struck two more times in the fifth as Lindor doubled in a run and Nimmo added another RBI single. Stewart singled in the sixth and later crossed the plate on Alvarez's hit to increase the lead to 12-2.

    Alvarez had another run-scoring hit in the eighth as the Mets scored twice more during the inning.

    The defending World Series champion Rangers lost their fourth in a row and dropped six games below .500 at 33-39.

     

    Pirates' rookie Skenes bests Reds to stay unbeaten

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    Pittsburgh countered with three runs off Carson Spiers in their half of the first, which began with a walk to Andrew McCutchen and Bryan Reynolds' ground-rule double.

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    The Pirates extended their advantage to 4-1 in the second inning on consecutive doubles by McCutchen and Reynolds, who finished with two hits along with Tellez.

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    Schwarber's two homers help Phillies extend Padres' road woes

    Kyle Schwarber belted a pair of two-run homers to lead the way as the Philadelphia Phillies extended the San Diego Padres' road losing streak to eight games with Monday's 9-2 rout.

    Alec Bohm added a three-run homer and went 3 for 5 to help the National League leaders bounce back after losing two of three games to the Baltimore Orioles over the weekend. Rafael Marchan finished 4 for 4 with two RBIs, while Trea Turner had a pair of hits in the Philadelphia shortstop's return from a hamstring injury that had sidelined him since early May.

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    San Diego entered Citizens Bank Park off three straight road losses to the New York Mets over the weekend, and fell behind 2-0 when Schwarber followed Marchan's third-inning single with a blast into the seats off Randy Vasquez.

    Vasquez (1-4) walked Brandon Marsh to lead off the bottom of the fourth, which led to another run when the outfielder took second on a wild pitch and scored on Marchan's single.

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    Inter Miami are sitting comfortably at the top of the Eastern Conference table but face a challenge on Thursday when Columbus Crew visit for an MLS clash at Chase Stadium.

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    "I think we have more away wins right now than last year all season. I think so or the same, so I'm happy for that."

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    "Absolutely all the credit belongs to them. That has to do with the effort, with the character, with the guts that the boys had."

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    "It's difficult when you're missing the best players in history in their positions," he said. "But we got to keep working, and we got to try our best."

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    Inter Miami – Jordi Alba

    With stars Messi and Suarez on international duty, Jordi Alba will be expected to step up once more for the Herons.

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    Columbus Crew – Diego Rossi

    Diego Rossi remains an integral figure in attack for the Crew, whose Javier Hernandez (five goals) has only scored more than the forward's four in 10 MLS games this year.

    With other Uruguayan colleagues at the Copa, Rossi will hope to extend his fine scoring form here.

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    Miami may be leading the way in the East but a draw appears the most likely outcome at Chase Stadium.

    The Herons have never lost a home match against the Crew (W2 D1), though Columbus did earn their first away point against David Beckham's Miami-based side on the last visit to Fort Lauderdale, a 2-2 draw in July 2023.

    Martino will hope to continue a strong run of form with another victory, however.

    Miami have won eight of their last 11 regular-season matches (D2 L1) following a 2-1 victory at Philadelphia on Saturday. Since that run began in mid-April, Martino's side have managed 26 points and scored 28 goals – both league-leading figures.

    Yet Columbus should not be ruled out for a win either.

    The Crew have won four straight regular-season away matches for the second time in club history after a four-match run in August-September 2015.

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    Kylian Mbappe suffering a late head injury marred France's Euro 2024 victory over Austria as Didier Deschamps was left concerned about the Les Bleus star.

    The Real Madrid-bound attacker sustained a blow to his nose after an aerial challenge with Austria's Kevin Danso before Mbappe was withdrawn on Monday.

    France held on for a 1-0 victory in Dusseldorf to move level with fellow Group D leaders Netherlands, but Deschamps will have to sweat over Mbappe's fitness before facing Ronald Koeman's men on Friday.

    "[His] nose is not good at all," the France head coach, who hit 100 wins in charge of his country with the victory over Ralf Rangnick's side, told reporters.

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    The former Paris Saint-Germain man remains without a goal from a total of 18 shots in the tournament, while he has registered 12 strikes from 39 attempts at the World Cup.

    Mbappe played the cross in for Max Wober's decisive first-half own-goal, however, as the centre-back's inadvertent error proved the difference in the pair's tournament opener.

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    Deschamps was still satisfied with Les Bleus' work, though acknowledged their failure in front of goal.

    "Happy with what the players did even if we missed opportunities to double the tally," he added. "It was not perfect but we were solid.

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    N'Golo Kante was named as the Player of the Match after his efficient display in midfield, having only returned to the international setup for this tournament after a two-year absence.

    No France player made more successful tackles than Kante's two (level with Jules Kounde), while the midfielder's pair of interceptions marked the most for Les Bleus.

    "Everything was not perfect but we have the result we wanted, this is a good start," Kante said. "There are solid foundations, we have to be more efficient.

    "It makes me happy to be back. Things have changed, makes it feels good to get back into this jersey."

    The defeat ended a run of seven games without a loss for Austria in all competitions (W6 D1), while it was only their second reverse in their last 17 matches (W12 D3).

    Yet former Manchester United boss Rangnick refused to point the blame at any of Austria's players.

    "We are all very disappointed... we allowed France to go ahead, they didn't shoot their goal, it was an unlucky own goal by us," Rangnick said.

    "I think no one can accuse the team of not being engaged enough, not running enough. They gave their everything.

    "They didn't always make the right decisions with the ball. But it isn't easy, the French were aggressive, and played compactly and that wasn't a surprise."

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