Braves success has to sting Phillies

by MarcNarducci | Nov 12, 2021
Braves success has to sting Phillies

The Atlanta Braves had the fewest regular wins among all playoff teams this season (88) but ended up winning their first World Series since 1995 and that had to sting the Phillies.

For the second time in the past three seasons, one of the Phillies National League East rivals won the World Series, with the Washington Nationals earning the title in 2019.

The Braves championship will especially be a sore point to the Phillies (and their fans) because the Phils were so close.

Entering the final week of the season, the Phillies were 1.5 games behind the Braves with seven games left. The Phillies lost to Pittsburgh to begin the week and then were swept during three game in Atlanta and were eliminated.

While Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski is known for his wheeling and dealing and winning, he didn't have the best of first seasons in Philadelphia. 

He is the only executive in MLB history to guide three teams to the World Series. Dombrowski won the World Series with the Florida (now Miami) Marlins and the Boston Red Sox and guided Detroit to two World Series, both of which the Tigers lost.

While the Phillies (82-80) had their first winning record in a decade, Dombrowski (and the rest of baseball) was outmaneuvered by Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos at the trade deadline.

Dombrowski acquired starter Kyle Gibson and closer Ian Kennedy in a six-player deal with the Texas Rangers, but neither was a difference maker. In fact, Kennedy, with a 4.13 ERA was a disappointment and Gibson, after a good start with the Phillies, faded and ended 4-6 with a 5.09 ERA in 11 starts.

Contrast that with what Anthopoulos did, rebuilding an injured outfield for the Braves.

Atlanta suffered key injuries including a season-ending ACL team to Ronald Acuna, who was having an MVP type season.

Anthopoulos acquired Jorge Soler from Kansas City, Adam Duvall from Miami, Joc Pederson from the Chicago Cubs and Eddie Rosario from the Cleveland Indians.

Rosario was the MVP of the National League Championship Series. Soler, who hit 14 home runs in 55 regular season games for the Braves, later would win the MVP of the World Series.

Duvall hit 16 home runs in 55 regular season games for the Braves and added three more and 10 RBI in the postseason.

Pederson hit .429 with two home runs and five RBI in the Braves opening National League Division series win over Milwaukee. (Atlanta won the series 3 games to 1.)

Without any of those moves, the Braves wouldn’t have won the World Series. In fact, the Braves likely wouldn’t have won the division without these moves.

What helped the Braves make these moves is that they have a much better farm system than the Phillies. That said, Anthopoulos made several bold moves and it paid off in a championship.

While Dombrowski will likely earn a spot one day in the Baseball Hall of Fame, his first season with the Phillies was a bit underwhelming.

And like the players, he will have much to prove during the 2022 season.

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Author: MarcNarducci

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