Apparently they don’t teach baserunning anymore.
Atlanta ran itself out of a trip to the World Series with the kind of boneheaded baserunning that has been prevalent the last few years in the major leagues.
After scoring the go-ahead run in the top of the fourth, and with runners at second and third, and nobody out, the Braves were ready to break open Game 7.
Then Nick Markakis smacked a hard hit ball to the Dodgers third baseman. Everybody knows you don’t run home when the ball is hit to third. Everybody except Dansby Swanson. He broke for home, then got caught in a frustratingly foolish rundown. It was so entertaining that the Braves runner at second, Austin Riley, decided to watch what was going on. Then, when it was way too late, he decided to break for third. He, too, was tagged out.
The Braves gave the Dodgers a gift double play. And with that, their rally, chance, hope, opportunity, and ticket to the World Series all disappeared.
Not only did they not get another hit after that, they got only one more baserunner.
The Dodgers took it from there, winning Game 7 4-3.
So, this is what the World Series is supposed to be.
The best team in the American League playing the best team in the National League. That’s what we have this year.
Tampa Bay won forty games this season. Los Angeles won forty-three. This is the third time in four years the Dodgers have made it to the World Series. They lost to the Red Sox and the Astros. This is the second time the Rays have ever been in.
On paper, the Dodgers seem like the more dominating team. No team in baseball hit more home runs in 2020 or scored more runs. And no team in baseball had a lower ERA.
Tampa Bay struck out more than any other team. The Dodgers, the fourth fewest.
So, Los Angeles scored the most runs and allow the fewest. Seems pretty much a dead lock they will win it all.
But Tampa Bay has three aces in Blake Snell, Tyler Glasnow, and Charlie Morton. And they have a deep, strong bullpen. They have the edge in both.
But they need to hit it out of the park in order to score. The Dodgers, in the other hand, have no holes in their lineup. Their bench is probably better than most teams’ starters.
Tampa Bay’s dominating pitching aside, if they hit like they have throughout this post-season, where it’s really just Randy Arozarena and nobody else, the Dodgers should cruise.
Prediction: Los Angeles in five.