UPDATED WEDNESDAY, NOV. 3, 6 a.m. ET
For the first time since 1995, the Atlanta Braves are world champions. They went to Houston and shut down the hot Astros lineup, winning 7-0 for their first title in 26 years, erasing 15 consecutive postseason failures in the process.
Jorge Soler, the series MVP, had the big hit, a three-run home run off of Houston starter Luis Garcia in the third inning and the Braves never looked back. They added three more runs in the fifth on a Dansby Swanson two-run homer and Freddie Freeman double. Freeman homered himself in the seventh, getting his first title after 12 years as Braves star.
Atlanta starter Max Fried was sensational, scattering four harmless singles over six innings.
It was an improbable run to a title for a team that didn't get over .500 until August and remade their entire outfield prior to the trade deadline. Even with losing star Ronald Acuna Jr., the Braves found a way,
"We hit every pothole, every bump you could possibly hit this year, and somehow the car still made it onto the other side," Freeman said. "It's just an incredible group."
Here are the summaries of every postseason game in 2021.
World Series: Atlanta Braves vs. Houston Astros
- Best-of-seven series
- BRAVES 6, ASTROS 2 (Game 1): Atlanta got to Houston starter Framber Valdez early, scoring runs in each of the first three innings to dashing out to a 6-2 to take the series opener. Jorge Soler homered to lead off the game, a World Series first, and Adam Duvall added a homer as well. Braves lead series 1-0.
- ASTROS 7, BRAVES 2 (Game 2): Houston got even in the series with several seeing-eye singles early in the game, getting to Braves starter Max Fried with five runs in the first two innings in an easy 7-2 win. Houston starter Jose Urquidy allowed two runs in five innings, and the Astros bullpen covered the last four innings while giving up just one hit. Jose Altuve's 22nd carerr postseason home run tied him for second place all-time with Bernie Williams. Manny Ramirez (29) is first. Series tied 1-1.
- BRAVES 2, ASTROS 0 (Game 3): Braves starter Ian Anderson pitched five no-hit innings and the bullpen took it from there in a huge 2-0 win to take the lead in the series. It was a bit controversial, pulling Anderson after just 76 pitches, but this Braves bullpen has been great and they showed it again. Braves lead series 2-1.
- BRAVES 3, ASTROS 2 (Game 4): Dansby Swanson and Jorge Solar hit a huge home runs in the seventh inning and the Braves came back to win. It was a bullpen day for the Braves, but that formula still works. Braves relievers pitched four scoreless innings to end the game, allowing just two hits. Houston hitters still haven't figured out all those arms in the Atlanta bullpen. Braves lead series 3-1.
- ASTROS 9, BRAVES 5 (Game 5): Astros starter Framber Valdex was shelled for five runs in 2 2/3 innings, but then the Houston bullpen slammed the door, pitching 6 1/3 scoreless innings and allowing their re-ignited offense to come back. They did just that, winning 9-5 to keep the series alive. Houston catcher Martin Maldanado, who has struggled hitting the entire postseason, had three RBIs for the Astros. Braves lead series 3-2.
- BRAVES 7, ASTROS 0: Max Fried pitched six scoreless innings, and the Atlanta Braves got home runs from Jorge Soler, Dansby Swanson and Freddie Freeman to pound the Houston Astros 7-0 and win their first World Series title since 1995. Braves win series 4-2.
American League 2021 Playoffs
ALCS: Boston Red Sox vs. Houston Astros
- Best-of-seven series
- ASTROS 5, RED SOX 4 (Game 1): Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa spearheaded a Houston comeback with home runs in the Astros' 5-4 victory over the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of the ALCS. Altuve tied the game in the sixth with a two-run shot, and then Correa put the Astros ahead with a solo homer in the seventh. As is the norm in the playoffs these days, neither starter lasted very long. Red Sox starter Chris Sale and Astros starter Framber Valdez were both gone by the third inning. Both teams used eight pitchers, but Houston's bullpen was better, allowing just four hits and one run in 6 2/3 innings. Kike Hernandez was 4-for-5 for Boston, with a double and two homers. Kyle Schwarber was 1-for-5 for Boston. Houston leads the series 1-0.
- RED SOX 9, ASTROS 5 (Game 2): The Boston Red Sox got grand slam home runs from Rafael Devers and J.D. Martinez and blew out the Astros to even the series. Kyle Schwarber went 1-for-4 for Boston. Series tied 1-1.
- RED SOX 12, ASTROS 3 (Game 3): Kyle Schwarber hit Boston's third grand slam in two days, capping a six-run second inning that fired the 12-3 rout of the Astros. Houston starter Jose Urquidy didn't make it out of the second inning, and so far in this series, Astros starters have pitched a grand total of 5 1/3 innings in three games, which has never happened before in the history of postseason baseball. Boston finished the night with 11 hits, with Christian Vazquez, J.D. Martinez and Kike Hernandez all had two hits. Hernandez is 8-for-13 in the series, with a double and three homers. Boston got six solid innings out of starter Eduardo Rodriguez, “The fact that (Rodriguez) went six innings was very important for us,” Boston manager Alex Cora said. “It’s three games in a row against a great team, so to be able to rest the bullpen for (Thursday) is huge. And he understood that.” Red Sox lead series 2-1.
- ASTROS 9, RED SOX 2 (Game 4): Houston's bullpen was terrific after a short start from Zach Grienke, and then the Astros' bats exploded for seven runs in the ninth inning to grab a 9-2 win and even the series. Jose Altuve tied the game at 2-2 in the eighth inning with a homer. Boston turned to starter Nathan Eovaldi to pitch the ninth inning with the score tied, but the move blew up in Alex Cora's face. Eovaldi gave up two hits and two walks, and left with the bases loaded. Then reliever Martin Perez gave up a bases-clearing double to Michael Bradley to blow the game open. Series tied 2-2.
- ASTROS 9, RED SOX 1 (Game 5): Framber Valdez allowed only one run and three hits over eight innings and the Astros grabbed control of the series with an easy 9-1 win at Fenway Park. The Astros blew the game open in the sixth inning, scoring five runs and knocking out Red Sox starter Chris Sale. Houston designated hitter Yordan Alvarez went 3-for-5, with a homer and three RBIs. Astros lead series 3-2.
- ASTROS 5, RED SOX 0 (Game 6): Houston closed out the series at home with another dominating pitching performance. Luis Garcia pitched 5 2/3 innings of one-hit ball, and the bullpen took it from there to punch their ticket to the World Series. It was a startling turnaround for Garcia, who was shelled for five runs in one-plus innings in Game 2. Kyle Tucker was the hitting star, with a three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth to slam the door shut. Yordan Alvarez went 4-for-4. Astros win series 4-2.
Division Series: Chicago White Sox vs. Houston Astros
- Best-of-five series
- ASTROS 6, WHITE SOX 1: Houston got to Chicago starter Lance Lynn early, knocking him out of the game in the fourth inning and tagging the White Sox ace for five runs in the 6-1 rout in Game 1. Lance McCullers was terrific for the Astros, pitching 6 2/3 shutout innings and allowing just four hits. It was the first MLB game ever that was started by two pitchers named Lance. Houston leads the series 1-0.
- ASTROS 9, WHITE SOX 4: Houston blew open a tie game with a five-run outburst in the seventh inning to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the series. Outfielder Kyle Tucker was the hitting star, with a two-run homer in the seventh and three RBIs on the night. White Sox starter Lucas Giolito struggled with his control, giving up five walks and four runs in just 4 1/3 innings. Houston leads the series 2-0.
- WHITE SOX 12, ASTROS 6: The White Sox finally got their bats going, routing Houston 12-6 to stay alive in the series. They had several big hits, but homers by Yasmani Grandal and Leury Garcia fueled the comeback. Chicago had 16 hits, with five players having multiple-hit games. Shortstop Tim Anderson had three hits. The Chicago bullpen was terrific, holding Houston scoreless over the final five innings. Houston leads the series 2-1.
- Game 4: Rain has postponed Monday's Game 4, and it has been rescheduled for Tuesday.
- ASTROS 10, WHITE SOX 1: Houston's bats continued to rake and the Astros also got another quality start from Lance McCullers in beating the White Sox 10-1 to win their divisional series. It's their fifth straight victory in the first round in the past five years. McCullers pitched four innings, allowing just a Gavin Sheets home run, but left with forearm tightness. The bullpen took it from there, pitching five scoreless innings and allowing just two hits to the powerful Chicago lineup. White Sox starter Carlos Rodon didn't make it through the third inning and took the loss. After leading the American League in ERA during the regular season, the White Sox's rotation struggled over the four games. The starter's ERA was 10.22 in the series, just the fifth rotation ever to compile an ERA above 10.00 over the first four games of a playoff series. HOUSTON WINS SERIES 3-1.
Division Series: Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Red Sox
- Best-of-five series
- RAYS 5, RED SOX 0: Randy Arozarena homered and stole home, the first player ever to do that in a postseason game, as Tampa Bay jumped on Boston early and cruised to an easy 5-0 victory. Shane McClanahan started for the Rays, and pitched five scoreless innings, allowing just five hits. The bullpen was perfect, too, allowing just four hits in four scoreless innings. Tampa Bay leads the series 1-0.
- RED SOX 14, RAYS 6: Boston exploded for 20 hits in the comeback rout of Tampa Bay, overcoming a poor start from Chris Sale, who allowed five runs in the first inning. Boston's bullpen was terrific from there, allowing just one run and four hits over the final eight innings. Center fielder Enrique Hernandez went 5-for-6 with three RBIs and J.D. Martinez returned from an ankle injury to go 4-for-5. Five players had three or more hits for the Red Sox, tying a postseason record. Series tied 1-1.
- RED SOX 6, RAYS 4, 13 innings: Boston catcher Christian Vazquez hit a towering two-run home run over the Green Monster in the 13th inning, giving the Red Sox a 6-4 walk-off victory. It was a strange 13th inning, where it looked like the Rays went ahead in the top of the inning on a Kevin Kiermeyer double, but the ball bounced off outfielder Hunter Renfroe and went over the short wall in right field. It became moot with Vazquez's homer, but it was a play that had everyone scrambling for the rule books. Boston's Kyle Schwarber had a big day, hitting a homer in the first inning and getting three hits on the night. Boston leads the series 2-1.
- RED SOX 6, RAYS 5: Boston scored five early runs off of Shane McClanahan in the third inning, but then watched the entire lead slip away as the Rays battled back. But the Red Sox closed them out when Christian Vazquez, Sunday night's hero, opened the bottom of the ninth with a single. He moved to second on a bunt, got to third on an infield hit and scored the game-winner with a sacrifice fly to left field by Enrique Hernandez. Garrett Whitlock got the win with two perfect innings of relief in the eighth and ninth inning. It was the first time that 100-win Tampa Bay had lost three straight games since July 25-28. BOSTON WINS SERIES 3-1.
Wild Card: New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox
- RED SOX 6, YANKEES 2: Xander Bogaerts and Kyle Schwarber hit home runs off of New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole as the Boston Red Sox crushed their arch-rivals to win the AL wild-card game. Nathan Eovaldi was terrific for Boston, taking a shutout into the sixth inning. He pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing just one run on four hits, and striking out eight Yankees.
National League 2021 Playoffs
NLCS: Los Angeles Dodgers at Atlanta Braves
- Best-of-seven series
- BRAVES 3, DODGERS 2 (Game 1): Austin Riley hit a fourth-inning homer for the Atlanta Braves and then won the game with an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth, giving the Braves a 3-2 win. Max Fried started for the Braves and pitched six innings of two-run ball. The bullpen pitched three scoreless innings, with Will Smith getting the win. Braves lead series 1-0.
- BRAVES 5, DODGERS 4 (Game 2): The Atlanta Braves got their second straight walk-off win, with utfielder Eddie Rosario’s single winning Game 2 in the ninth for a 5-4 victory. Atlanta erased a 4-2 Dodgers lead late, scoring twice in the eighth on bang-bang plays and home and then winning it with Rosario's two-out hit off of LA closer Kenley Jansen. Taking a 2-0 lead is huge, but the Braves know they did that last year too, before losing to the Dodgers in seven games. “We were up on them 2-0 last year, so it’s like one of those things where you can’t stop now, you got to continue to apply the pressure and come out every day and get after it,” Braves hero Austin Riley said. “It’s in the back of your mind. They’re a really good ballclub, they’re never out of it until the last play.” Series tied 1-1.
- DODGERS 6, BRAVES 5: (Game 3): The Dodgers erased Atlanta's lead in the eighth inning, getting a three-run homer for Cody Bellinger to tie the game and a go-ahead double from Mookie Betts to avoid falling into a massive hole in the series. "Man, pure elation, joy," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "I mean, it's just hard to imagine a bigger hit." Bellinger, who hit only .165 all season but has had many postseason moments previously, hit a high fastball off of Luke Jackson for the dramatic homer. Braves lead series 2-1.
- BRAVES 9, DODGERS 2 (Game 4): Eddie Rosario hit two home runs in his second four-hit game of the NL Championship Series and six Atlanta pitchers combined on a four-hitter, giving the Braves a 9-2 victory in Game 4 of the NLCS. Rosario became the first player to have two four-hit games in a League Championship Series. He drove in four runs and scored three. Braves lead series 3-1.
- DODGERS 11, BRAVES 2 (Game 5): The Dodgers scored 11 unanswered runs in blowing out the Braves in Game 5. It was a planned bullpen day for the Dodgers anyway, and after Joe Kelly gave up two runs in the first, six Los Angeles pitchers allowed just three hits the rest or the way. Chris Taylor went 4-for-5 with six RBIs for Los Angeles. Braves lead series 3-2.
- BRAVES 4, DODGERS 2 (Game 6): Atlanta won its first National League pennant since 1999 with Eddie Rosario once again the hitting star. He hit a three-run homer in the fourth inning to give the Braves a commanding lead. Will Smith pitched the ninth to get the save. Braves win series 4-2.
Division Series: Atlanta Braves vs. Milwaukee Brewers
- Best-of-five series
- BREWERS 2, BRAVES 1: A fabulous pitcher's duel between Atlanta's Charlie Morton and Milwaukee's Corbin Burnes ended when Brewers first baseman Rowdy Tellez broke a scoreless tie with a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh off of Morton. Burnes pitched six scoreless innings, allowing just two hits. Milwaukee leads the series 1-0.
- BRAVES 3, BREWERS 0: Braves starter Max Fried pitched six scoreless innings, allowing just three hits and striking out nine in Atlanta's 3-0 win over Milwaukee. Atlanta got an RBI single from Freddie Freeman in the third inning, and Ozzie Albies followed with an RBI double. Third baseman Austin Riley added an insurance run in the sixth with a homer. Series tied 1-1.
- BRAVES 3, BREWERS 0: Atlanta starter Ian Anderson allowed just three hits over five scoreless innings, and the Braves' bullpen completed the shutout, pitching four innings of two-hit ball to shut out Milwaukee for the second straight day. Joc Pederson continued his postseason heroics, leading the Braves to a win with a three-run homer in the fifth inning. Braves lead series 2-1.
- BRAVES 5, BREWERS 4: Atlanta got a dramatic home run from reigning MVP Freddie Freeman in the eighth inning to beat the Brewers 5-4 and win the series over Milwaukee. Freeman's homer came off of dominant Brewers closer Josh Hader, who hadn't allowed a run since July 28 and hadn't allowed a home run to a left-handed hitter all year. The Braves tied the game at 4-4 in the bottom of the fifth, and their bullpen, which has been great the entire series, pitched four shutout innings to close out the game, allowing just one hit. BRAVES WIN SERIES 3-1.
Division Series: San Francisco Giants vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
- Best-of-five series
- GIANTS 4, DODGERS 0: Logan Webb pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings for the Giants, allowing just five hits and striking out 10 with no walks in San Francisco's 4-0 shutout win over Los Angeles. The Giants scored all of their runs on home runs, with catcher Buster Posey hitting a two-run homer in the first inning, and Kris Bryant (seventh) and Brandon Crawford (eighth) adding solo shots later. San Francisco leads the series 1-0.
- DODGERS 9, GIANTS 2: The Dodgers' bats heated up after Friday's Game 1 shutout, ripping Giants pitching for five extra base hits in Los Angeles' 9-2 win over the San Francisco Giants. Dodgers. starter Julio Urias pitched five innings, allowing just one run, to pick up the win. Series tied 1-1.
- GIANTS 1, DODGERS 0: Alex Wood pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings and the San Francisco Giants' bullpen was great again in their second shutout of the Dodgers in the NLCS. The lone run came on an Evan Longoria home run off of Dodgers starter Max Scherzer in the fifth inning. Wood, a former Dodger, loved beating his old teammates. “These are the moments that test you,” Wood said. “If you're in the big leagues, if you're a big league ballplayer, you're one of the best at what you do on planet Earth. So you work hard all offseason, you work hard all season for things to culminate in moments like these. For it to go my way tonight and our team's way, after the work we put in all year and the work that I know those guys do day-in and day-out is really special.” Giants lead series 2-1.
- DODGERS 7, GIANTS 2: The Dodgers stayed alive, getting to Giants starter Anthony DeSclafani early and winning 7-2 to even the series. Walker Buehler pitched on three days' rest, pitching 4 1/3 innings and allowing just one run. Mookie Betts had a two-run homer in the fourth inning, and the Dodgers had five batters with multiple hits. Series tied 2-2.
- DODGERS 2, GIANTS 1: Cody Bellinger broke up a pitcher's duel with a double in the ninth inning, leading the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 2-1 victory over their arch rivals, the San Francisco Giants. Both teams scored in the sixth in the tense winner-take-all game, with the Dodgers striking first in the top of the inning on a Corey Seager double, driving in Mookie Betts, who had four hits on the night. Giants left fielder Darin Ruf homered to tie the game, which ended on a checked swing in the bottom of the night, when Wilmer Flores was called out for the final out of the game. Both teams entered the game with 109 wins, an MLB-first in the divisional series. DODGERS WIN SERIES 3-2.
Wild Card: St. Louis Cardinals at Los Angeles Dodgers
- DODGERS 3, CARDINALS 1: Reserve outfielder Chris Taylor hit a walk-off two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to give the Los Angeles Dodgers a 3-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals.