The Braves are on the cusp of a World Series title, despite last night’s loss. Brian Snitker’s gut is a big reason why. The Astros need to hit. A look ahead at free agency. Some spooky baseball spots.
It was the one day a year that I’ll eat a candy bar—Game 5 of the World Series.
It’s really difficult getting a piece like this prepared for Monday morning not knowing if the results of Sunday night’s game makes half the stories you were planning on linking to out of date. But thanks to the Astros’ win in Game 5, I can still link to stories like “3 reasons the Astros can still rally.” Although one of those reasons, that Framber Valdez could pitch them to victory in Game 5, doesn’t look so hot right now.
- So yeah, the Astros won Game 5 9-5, which should always be called a “Dolly Parton” in baseball lingo. So that sets up Game 6 in Houston on Tuesday.
- The Astros’ Zack Greinke made history becoming the first pitcher since 1923 to have a pinch-hit in a World Series game in Game 6.
- Tim Keown explains how two different fly balls hit to left field in Game 4 (with two different results) put the Braves to within one win of a World Series title.
- Bob Nightengale writes that Game 3 of the World Series—the one where starter Ian Anderson was pulled after five innings while he was still throwing a no-hitter—was a modern masterpiece, no-hitter or not.
- Hannah Keyser writes that while both “the book” and the gut of Braves manager Brian Snitker said that pulling Anderson was the right move, she still regrets that we’ll never know if Anderson could have thrown a no-hitter. But it wasn’t like Anderson had your typical no-hitter stuff in Game 3.
- Speaking of Snitker’s gut, Jeff Schultz thinks we all should have as much trust in his gut as Snitker does. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- Tom Verducci writes that this has been the best 21 days of Brian Snitker’s life.
- Playing in the World Series for the local team that he grew up cheering for, Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson is living out his biggest dreams right now, writes Bob Nightengale.
- Jay Busbee writes that Braves fans are “ecstatic but incredibly nervous” as their team gets to within one game of a championship. They remember too many Atlanta sports failures over the years and no, no one mentioned Atlanta United’s 2018 MLS Cup. I remember reading an article on the Atlanta sports scene a few years ago and I remember it saying that there is very little overlap between Braves fans and Atlanta United fans.
- Barry Svrluga wonders just how the Braves are winning?
- James Wagner has an explanation for the Braves’ turnaround this year: the soft-serve ice cream machine they installed in the clubhouse at mid-season.
- Bradford Doolittle writes that the Astros had better start hitting or their season will be over. (ESPN+ sub. req.) I guess after scoring nine runs in Game 5, it’s “They better keep hitting.”
- Jake Mailhot examines the struggles at the plate that Astros third baseman Alec Bregman has had in the postseason.
- Jeff Passan explains why it is past time for Atlanta to end “The Chop.”
- Stephanie Apstein agrees: Atlanta needs to end “The Chop.”
A reader email, published with permission, about the chop. pic.twitter.com/UM92T7hn9N
— Stephanie Apstein (@stephapstein) October 31, 2021
- Jay Busbee explains the steps that the Braves would have to take to rebrand and drop “The Chop.”
- It looks like MLB is going to mandate that minor league players get vaccinated next season and some minor league players, including some who are vaccinated, are upset that MLB never consults them on these kinds of matters.
- Longtime Red Sox player and broadcaster Jerry Remy has died at the age of 68 after a 13-year battle with cancer.
- Remy’s former broadcast partner Don Orsillo and others share their feelings about Remy.
- Albert Pujols is playing winter ball in the Dominican Republic and Pujols says he’s not ready to retire.
- Pujols had a walk-off single in his first game playing in the Dominican Republic in 20 years.
- J.J. Cooper writes that teams are doing the right thing by using defensive shifts, even if it makes them look stupid from time to time.
- Outfielder Yasiel Puig has settled the sexual assault lawsuit that was filed against him and he wants to play in MLB again in 2022.
- Mike Axisa lists ten players whose performance in the postseason this year will help them as they enter free agency.
- Giants president Farhan Zaidi doesn’t expect Kris Bryant to sign quickly with anyone and that he’ll likely wait out the market.
- The Mariners told third baseman Kyle Seager that they will not pick his contract option up for 2022, making him a free agent.
- Finally, we’ve got two Halloween stories that were reprinted by MLB.com from last season, but since I wasn’t working here last year and you may have forgotten them, I’m going to share them now. The first one is about Frontier Field, the home of the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings, and how many people claim it is haunted. The second is about Milwaukee’s Pfister Hotel, which many people, including current and former major leaguers, insist is haunted.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. We’ve got Game 6 tomorrow.