World Series: Travis d'Arnaud thrives for Atlanta

ATLANTA – If hitting a home run in the World Series is what kids dream of growing up, then Travis d’Arnaud’s Friday was doubly good. No...


ATLANTA – If hitting a home run in the World Series is what kids dream of growing up, then Travis d’Arnaud’s Friday was doubly good. Not only did he hit his second home run in this series at a key point in the eighth inning of Game 3, but his day started with a family trip for donuts.

“We have 15 donuts,” Arnaud said after his 437-foot homerun produced the final run on the ice in Atlanta. 2-0 victory. “We have a bunch of chocolate bars, chocolate twists, cinnamon twists, cinnamon buns, apple fritters, lots of donut holes.

“Yes, that was good too.”

At 32 and participating in his second World Series, Arnaud is in the right place of his career, playing with a team he loves. Now with his fourth organization in nine years, he signed a two-year, $ 16 million extension in August that will likely keep him in Atlanta until 2024. He caught three playoff shutouts – two against Milwaukee in a series. division and Friday’s game that looked like it could be a hit until pinch hitter Aledmys Diaz dumped a hit on the grass of the outfield to start the eighth.

Offensively, he hits .417 (5 for 12) in this World Series. An unexpected key was the use of the bat from teammate Joc Pederson. After hitting 0.167 against the Brewers in the Division Series and 0.211 against the Dodgers in the National League Championship Series, he started using Pederson’s bat in the World Series and things changed.

“I picked it up and said, ‘Joc, that feels good,'” Arnaud said. “He said, ‘It’s yours, big boy.’ I said, ‘I’m going to keep using it.’ “

And he has, all three games.

“D’Arnaud has been a pain on our side this whole series,” said Houston manager Dusty Baker. “And he was kind of a pain against the other teams I was on.”

Twice he was traded for pitchers who won the Cy Young Award: he was drafted by Philadelphia but sent to Toronto as part of the deal that brought the Phillies Roy Halladay in 2009. Then the Blue Jays traded him to the Mets in 2012 in a deal that sent RA Dickey to Toronto.

General manager Alex Anthopoulos acquired it twice and traded it once. Anthopoulos was leading the Blue Jays when they completed the Halladay and Dickey trades. He was in charge at Atlanta when he signed the receiver as a free agent after the 2019 season.

“It was a funny phone call when he said, ‘Hey, we’re thinking of getting Travis back in the off-season, what do you think? said Sal Fasano, the Atlanta capture coach who coached Arnaud in the Toronto system at New Hampshire’s AA class in 2011. “And I’m like ‘Please?’

“He had a few options because he had a pretty good year with Tampa Bay. We talked on the phone a bit and the next day he ended up signing. So it was pretty exciting.

Like many in his physically demanding position, d’Arnaud has had his share of injuries, including a sprained thumb ligament this year that ruled him out from May 2 to August 2. 11. Atlanta ended up using seven different receivers to make it through the summer.

“It was a chore when he was away,” Fasano said. “We were looking. When we got it back it was like you got your woobie, your warm blanket. Because you knew he was invested in launchers. He has such a great relationship with these guys. It’s not a big rah-rah. He is very calm and quite cerebral.

Conditions during Game 3 have been added to the evening challenge. It was 49 degrees at the time of the game and a heavy mist was falling continuously. Although he doubled in the second, d’Arnaud struck out with goals loaded to finish the third. And he bounced back in first place with two to finish fifth.

Then, after his pitching team’s failed attempt not to hit, Jose Siri ran for Diaz, stole the second and Arnaud was charged with an error when his pitch rebounded in center field. , allowing Siri to rise to third place. It was the only time Houston had a third-place base runner all night long.

This is when the donuts appeared. In the post-game interview room, he was asked about his hectic day. He said he felt great after the donut run with his wife, daughter (3) and son (two months), looking like a man who wasn’t going to let anything, including a mistake, ruin his day .

“There’s a lot of pressure that could come just thinking you’re in a World Series game,” Arnaud said. “So I’m just trying to stay calm and take it step by step.” If I get a hit, cool. If I go out, it doesn’t matter. It’s more about catching a winner.

He did so in Game 3 to help Atlanta take a two-to-one lead. And after moving around a lot, he seems to have found a home for himself.

“I love this city,” he says. “They treated me and my family very well. I’m so grateful that I even had the opportunity to come here with Alex.

And it’s not just Anthopoulos. He’s the pitching staff he works so well with, he’s the rest of his teammates and he’s a certain captivating coach who has known him the longest of all.

“Let me put it this way: when you get the opportunity to coach someone in the big leagues that you’ve helped develop, it can be one of the warmest feelings you have as a coach. “Said Fasano. “Because you’ve seen all the hard work you put in in the younger days, and seeing what it blossomed into, it’s pretty impressive. I know this word is overused, but it’s really awesome.

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Newsrust - US Top News: World Series: Travis d'Arnaud thrives for Atlanta
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