They were 16 … and now there are only four!
And next Sunday, there will be only two who will pay the price for the 2020 Special Edition World Series.
A strange season of only 60 games, series with modified frames to admit 16 clubs.
All observers predicted that the Dodgers would reach the National League final, but how many had anticipated that the Braves, deprived of their two pitchers Mike Soroka and Cole Hamels, would be their rivals?
And who, in the American League, believed in the chances of the Houston Astros to find themselves against the Rays, to reach the ultimate series?
The Braves wowed everyone by signing four shutouts in five games to tie a 100-year-old record that belonged to the New York Giants, 1905 edition. The only difference was that the Braves had recourse three starters, Max Fried, Ian Anderson and Kyle Wright, while the Giants had only used two, or Christy Mathewson and Joe McGinnity!
The Dodgers had to work a little harder against the Padres and the Brewers, who they nevertheless eliminated in five games as well.
This final could highlight both receivers Travis
d’Arnaud and Will Smith. Among the Braves, d’Arnaud was breathtaking with an offensive average of .600
(6 in 10), with two doubles, two home runs and seven RBIs.
Smith was less spectacular, but he signed a five-hit game in the last game against the Padres. Which is not negligible. If the Dodgers can rely on a better staff of starting pitchers, the Braves, they seem better equipped in relievers. Jensen is no longer Dave Roberts’ man of trust to seal the outcome of a game while the Braves can count on a top-quality line of Mark Melancon, Shane Greene and Will Smith, to fill the role.
The problem is knowing which team is better off to face a series 4 of 7 when there will be no day off.
That’s a big order!
Especially since Clayton Kershaw is injured … This is a game-changer for the continuation of the series.
In the American
As for the other series, it’s a whole different matter. The Rays had to work hard to take out the tough Yankees who, finally, could count on their best, healthy elements.
Especially a Giancarlo Stanton, who beat them at the rate of four circuits and 10 RBIs …
However, Gerrit Cole’s $ 234 million was not enough. It took a support player, never drafted, Mike Brosseau, to take revenge on an Aroldis Chapman, who had aimed at him in the head on September 1, by gunning a home run in the 9th round of the 5th game, to eliminate the Bombers from the Bronx!
Meanwhile, the Astros, the team accused and found guilty of cheating to know the opponent’s shots, were on a mission to rebuild a reputation, possibly tarnished forever.
First, they managed to eliminate the Twins, yet champions of the Centrale, in two games.
Leading 2-1 to the A’s in the division series, the Astros, Correa, Brantley and Altuve took matters into their own hands, producing 10 of 11 points in the game that propelled them to the Championship Series for a fourth year of more … without having played a single home game!
It remains to be seen, now, if they will be able to complete their mission against a team, the Rays, who are also on a mission … that is to say that to have finished with the best record in the American league had not been the effect of chance, but the result of a well-deserved team effort.
On paper, the Rays seem better balanced than the Astros, especially at the mound.
We must not forget that the Astros no longer have Geritt Cole and that the great Justin Verlander has had surgery, so he is not available. Zack Greinke was not available in the first two games of the series.
A MATCH TO FORGET FOR JIM PALMER
Jim Palmer has had more than one unforgettable game in his career, such as that of May 16, 1965 when he became the only majors pitcher to make a home run, still a teenager, at age 19, seven. month and a day. Palmer spent his entire career with the Orioles, earning three Cy-Youngs and appearing in six All-Star games before being elected to the Hall of Fame in 1990. There is one game, however, the great right-hander would like to forget. that of October 11, 1971, when in the World Series, he became the only pitcher to allow two walks when the trails were all occupied!
FRANK ROBINSON AND THE DOUBLES
The great Frank Robinson wrote several pages in the majors’ record books, but there is one that is not often talked about, that of being the only hitter to hit 50 doubles in a season between 1954 and 1976! He had achieved the feat in 1962 with the Cincinnati Reds, 51 shots from two goals. Robinson can also boast of having played with five teams and having been the manager of five others. He wore the colors of the Reds, Orioles, Dodgers, Angels and Indians. He has also led the Indians, Giants, Orioles, Expos and Nationals.
THE BOONE FAMILY
Ray Boone, who had replaced player-manager Lou Boudreau when he made his majors debut with the Indians on September 3, 1948, had no idea he would have any offspring of major league players. He played in the majors until 1960 when his son, Bob, played in the big tent from 1972 to 1990, while his grandson, Aaron, wore the colors of the Reds, Yankees, Indians, of the Marlins, Nationals and Astros from 1997 to 2007. In addition, Bob Boone was manager of the Kansas City Royals and Cincinnati Reds while Aaron is now manager of the New York Yankees.
LUIS APARICIO, A UNIQUE CASE
Little Luis Aparicio had little idea he was going to have a great career when he made his debut with the Chicago White Sox in 1956. He first earned the Rookie of the Year trophy with a. 266 when he also had 21 stolen goals. He was expected to dominate the American League in stolen goals in his first nine seasons in the majors. A native of Venezuela, Aparicio can be proud of the fact that he is the only one to have earned this trophy and never to have played in any position other than a shortstop. He also won nine Gold Gloves, including seven with the White Sox and two more with the Orioles.