Eddie Rosario and Dansby Swanson avoid collision as no-hitting match ends
The Braves have enjoyed a huge field advantage at Truist Park this playoff, but in their 2-0 win over the Astros in Game 3 of the World Series on Friday night, the energetic home crowd could have cost Atlanta. a blow in history.
After three Braves pitchers combined for seven clean innings, Eddie Rosario was unable to catch Aledmys Díaz’s shallow ball in left field in the eighth, watching it fall a few feet in front of him to end the auction. historical.
Rosario and shortstop Dansby Swanson were trying to get closer to the ball, but crowd noise kept them from communicating on play.
“I started charging hard right away, and I noticed Dansby was also charging hard – and he was turning his back on the ball,” Rosario said through an interpreter. “Obviously we both try to play with the ball. When I knew I had a pearl on it, I was trying to say, ‘I have it, I have it.’ I knew Dansby couldn’t hear me, so at the last minute, knowing we couldn’t communicate, I wanted to make sure that there was no collision between the two of us.
Hitting Martín Maldonado to open the eighth, Díaz didn’t hit the ball particularly hard. It left the bat at a relatively low exit speed of 70.7 mph. But he stayed aloft for almost five seconds, giving Rosario enough time to chase him; according to Statcast, the bullet had an 85% probability of capture.
Braves manager Brian Snitker was sitting in the dugout, so while he didn’t have a good view of the room, he thought the noise from the crowds had definitely played a part.
“To the players’ credit, it’s so loud and it’s hard to hear,” Snitker said. “It’s one of those games where you practice – if you’ve got someone who can work the throwing machine really well and do that game – when we do contextual priorities in spring training. It’s a big game that we make so we don’t have wrecks and the guys take control of it. But under these circumstances anything can happen because guys can’t get along.
The ball came in for a single to clear the non-hitter, but the Braves had bigger things in mind. Hanging on to a one-point lead, the Astros had put the potential tie point on base, with Jose Altuve hiding just two hitters.
“I didn’t care for sure,” Snitker said. “I just care about the tie race. It happens. It’s a tough game there.
Tyler Matzek struck out pinch hitter Jason Castro on strikes, then Altuve pounced on third baseman Austin Riley in foul territory. Jose Siri, who ran for Díaz, stole the second base for scoring, advancing to third on a throwing error by wide receiver Travis d’Arnaud. Any disappointment about the hitting loss had been replaced by a much more urgent thought: to keep your head.
“Being such a close playoff game, you immediately jump to the question of how do we keep this guy where he is and get out of the round? said Ian Anderson, who opened Game 3 with five hitting innings.
Michael Brantley followed with another popup at Riley, blocking Siri at third base to preserve the 1-0 advantage.
“The no-hit is cool and all, but at the end of the day we want to win the game,” said Matzek. “That’s the whole story.”
Rosario has been an attacking player for most of his career, posting above-average negative strikeouts in each of the past three seasons. His lowest defense came in 2019, when he had an OAA of minus-18, although that season has proven to be an outlier: he was minus-2 in 20 and minus-1 in 21.
Ultimately, Rosario’s decision not to give everything for the ball cost the Braves a blow in history, but they came out of Truist Park with a 2-1 best-of-seven series lead.
“The goal of every game is to get a win,” said d’Arnaud. “I think a hit would have been a bonus, but when they got that hit it wasn’t our goal at the start of the game. It was just to get out there, make some shots, come out with outs and end with a win. This is ultimately what we did.