The Atlanta Braves Jorge Soler holds the 2021 World Series MVP Award in the Braves defeat of the Houston Astros on Tue Nov 3, 2021 at Truist Park in Cobb County GA (photo by the New York Times)
From Defecting his Country to World Series MVP
That’s Amaury News and Commentary
Although there are no diplomatic relations between the US and communist Cuba, that has not stopped dozens of Cuban baseball players escaping the island for years now. They have traveled via small homemade rafts in the middle of the night (very dangerous journey) or when their national team plays in a foreign country. They ask for political exile. Later, these players find their dreams, to play in the major leagues.
Jorge Soler of the Atlanta Braves in one of those Cuban players. He just won unanimously the Most Valuable Player of the 2021 World Series. Their first World Series championship since 1995. After leaving Cuba, under awful circumstances, Soler was signed by the Chicago Cubs to a 9-year $30 million contract.
In 2016 was traded to Kansas City for reliever Wade Davis, two years later he fractured a toe in his right foot and missed the rest of the season. With the Kansas City Royals. Jorge Soler established their new season home run record. In 2019 Soler’s 48 home runs, broke the previously home run record for the Royals, held by Mike Mustakas of 38 home runs in 2017.
During the NLDS on October 12 Soler tested positive for covid a few hours before the Braves played the decisive Game 4 against the Milwaukee Brewers. He had to leave the stadium and remain away from the team for at least 10 days, also missing the first 4 games of the NLCS against the LA Dodgers. He returned last Thursday for the World Series and the rest (like they say) it is history.
The slugging outfielder has come full circle with a great performance in the 2021 World Series, especially the 3 run home run in the third inning of the six game, a line-shot over 440 feet, that left Minute Maid Park, “A la calle” into the street. The Braves won 7-0 against the Houston Astros and that home run was crucial to open the scoring as the Astros were under pressure against great pitching for 6 innings from their star left-hander Max Fried.
World Series MVP Jorge Soler from Pinar del Río, Cuba (province famous for producing the best cigars in the world) hit, .300 with 6 hits, 4 home runs, 6 runs batted-in, 4 runs scored and 3 walks.
Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the lead Spanish play by play announcer for the Oakland A’s on flagship station 1010 KIQI Le Grande San Francisco and does News and Commentary at http://www.sportsradioservice.com
After a team destroys their opponents 16-0 the night before, there can be a tendency for a club to come out in the next game and be incapable of putting any runs up on the board. After the Kansas City Royals scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning on Saturday afternoon to take a 2-0 lead, it looked like game two of this three-game series might be one of those games.
The situation became grimmer in the bottom of the second inning when the Royals added to their lead. With two out in the inning, Ryan Goins laid down a bunt in front of the plate. Catcher Bruce Maxwell fielder the ball cleanly and make a quick throw to first for a “bang-bang” out. Well, wait just a minute. The Royals decided to challenge the call. Video replay in New York overturned the call on the field and Goins was called safe at first.
Now with two out and a runner at first, shortstop Alcides Escobar stepped into the batter’s box to face A’s starter Trevor Cahill. Escobar hit the first pitch to him off the fence in right field for an RBI-triple as Goins was able to come home and score easily from first base.
That brought leadoff man Jon Jay back to bat. Jay led the game off with a single and eventually scored the first run of the game. Jay – the Royals DH – hit the 1-1 pitch through the hole on the left side of the infield for a double. Escobar was able to trot home to score the fourth run of the game for Kansas City. When the second inning was over, the Royals led the Athletics 4-0.
The Athletics bounced back in the top of the third when Marcus Semien hit a one-out double to left-center field. After Matt Joyce struck out, Jed Lowrie singled to right field driving Semien home for the A’s first run of the contest cutting the Royals lead to 4-1.
The A’s went right back to work in the fourth inning. With one out and Fowler at first, Piscottty doubled to left field. Fowler blew through third base coach Matt Williams stop sign and was thrown out at home. Maxwell singled to left-center field drivng Piscotty home for the A’s second run of the game.
Bruce Maxwell led off the top of the seventh inning by hitting a 3-1 Jason Hammel pitch over the center field wall for his first home run of the season. The Athletics had cut the Kansas City lead to 4-3.
In the top of the eighth inning, the A’s received some bad news when Matt Joyce had to exit the game due to an injured back. Matt Olson led off the inning by hitting a single to left-center field. Olson advanced to second when Chapman grounded out. Chad Pinder entered the game as a pinch-hitter for Fowler. Pinder singled up the middle sending Olson home to tie the game at 4-4.
With one out in the home-half of the eighth inning, Jorge Soler hit his ninth home run of the season over left field wall to give the Royals a 5-4 lead. It would prove to be the game winning hit.
On the Hill
Trevor Cahill was charged with a season-high four runs (all earned) on a season-high seven hits in a season-low 4.2 innings. Not a combination of stats that a starting pitcher would like to post. Cahill is winless in his last 13 road starts with a 6.46 ERA. His last road win was on August 20, 2016 in Colorado. He did strike out six Royals and walked two.
Emilio Pagan pitched 0.1 of an inning.
Danny Coulombe pitched 1.0 inning of relief allowing no hits while striking out two and walking one.
Yusmeiro Petit closed out the game for Oakland pitching 2.0 innings giving up one run (earned) on one hit – the home run to Soler. Petit was charged with the loss and is now 2-2 on the season.
Kansas City (21-37)
Jason Hammel – the Royals starter – remains winless in his last six starts. He exited the game with a 4-3 lead but Oakland tied the game and Hammel no longer could figure into the decision. Hammel gave up three runs (all earned) on seven hits (one HR) in 6.0 innings of work. He struck out three and walked two.
Kevin McCarthy – worked the seventh inning giving up no hits and walking one.
Tim Hill – had a very intersting game. He was charged with a blown save (BS, 1) he gave up the tying run in the top the eighth inning. However, Hill was the pitcher of record when Soler hit the game winning home run, so he received the win to up his record to 1-1 for the year.
Kelvin Herrera – entered the came in the top of the ninth to go for the save. Herrera – who has an 0.79 ERA – worked a perfect inning striking out one and earning 13th save of the season in 14 opportunities.
In the Batter’s Box
Athletics (4th-place AL West 6.5 GB)
Bruce Maxwell – the A’s catcher was really the man with the bat today in Kansas City. Maxwell went 2-for-3 in the game scoring a run and posting two RBI. One of Maxwell’s hits was his first home run of the season.
Jed Lowrie – appears to be benefiting from having Khris Davis back in the lineup for protection. Lowrie went 2-for-5 with an RBI.
Chad Pinder – recorded his 13th RBI of the season.
The A’s went 3-for-6 with Runners In Scoring Position
Oakland had nine hits (four strike outs) and left six runners on base
Royals (5th-place AL Central 9.5 GB)
Jon Jay – the Royals leadoff/DH went 2-for-4 on Saturday. His leadoff single in the bottom of the first inning was his 14th of the season. He is now hitting .305 for the year. Jay also collected his 16th RBI of season in the game.
Jorge Soler – hit his ninth home run of the season and it was the fifth time one of his home runs has given the Royals the lead. It was also his fourth home run in eight games.
The Royals went 2-for-7 with Runners In Scoring Position
Kansas City collected eight hits and struck out 10 times. They left nine men on base.
On Sunday, it will be the “rubber game” of the three-game series. The Athletics will send RHP Daniel Gossett (0-3, 6.05 ERA). He is 0-2 since rejoining the A’s from Triple-A on May 23rd. The Royals are going to start RHP Jakob Junis (5-4, 3.61 ERA).