January 24, 2022

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World Sequence: Travis d'Arnaud Is Thriving for Atlanta

World Series: Travis d'Arnaud Is Thriving for Atlanta

ATLANTA — If hitting a house run within the World Sequence is the stuff youngsters dream of rising up, then Travis d’Arnaud’s Friday was doubly good. Not solely did he wallop his second residence run of this Sequence at a key second within the eighth inning of Recreation 3, however his day had began with a household journey for doughnuts.

“We received 15 doughnuts,” d’Arnaud stated after his 437-foot homer produced the ultimate run to ice Atlanta’s 2-0 win. “We received a bunch of chocolate bars, chocolate twists, cinnamon twists, cinnamon rolls, apple fritter, a variety of doughnut holes.

“Yeah, it was good, too.”

At 32 and taking part in in his second World Sequence, d’Arnaud is within the candy spot of his profession, taking part in with a group he loves. Now together with his fourth group in 9 years, he signed a two-year, $16 million extension in August that doubtless will preserve him in Atlanta by means of 2024. He’s caught three shutouts this postseason — two in opposition to Milwaukee in a division collection and Friday’s recreation that regarded prefer it might be a no-hitter till pinch-hitter Aledmys Diaz dumped a base hit onto the outfield grass to begin the eighth.

Offensively, he’s hitting .417 (5 for 12) on this World Sequence. An surprising key has been utilizing teammate Joc Pederson’s bat. After hitting .167 in opposition to the Brewers within the division collection and .211 in opposition to the Dodgers within the Nationwide League Championship Sequence, he began utilizing Pederson’s bat within the World Sequence and issues circled.

“I picked it up and I stated, ‘Joc, this feels fairly good,’” d’Arnaud stated. “He stated, ‘It’s yours, large man.’ I stated, ‘I’m going to maintain utilizing it.’”

And he has, all three video games.

“D’Arnaud’s been a ache in our aspect this complete collection,” Houston Supervisor Dusty Baker stated. “And he was type of a ache in opposition to different groups I used to be on.”

Twice he’s been traded for pitchers who’ve gained the Cy Younger Award: He was drafted by Philadelphia however shipped to Toronto within the deal that introduced the Phillies Roy Halladay in 2009. Then the Blue Jays traded him to the Mets in 2012 in a deal that despatched R.A. Dickey to Toronto.

Basic Supervisor Alex Anthopoulos has acquired him twice and traded him as soon as. Anthopoulos was working the Blue Jays once they accomplished the Halladay and Dickey trades. He was in cost in Atlanta when he signed the catcher as a free agent after the 2019 season.

“That was a enjoyable telephone name when he stated, ‘Hey, we’re eager about choosing up Travis within the low season, what do you suppose?” stated Sal Fasano, Atlanta’s catching coach who managed d’Arnaud in Toronto’s system at Class AA New Hampshire in 2011. “And I’m like, ‘Please?’

“He had a number of choices as a result of he had a reasonably good yr with Tampa Bay. We talked on the telephone a little bit bit and the subsequent day he ended up signing. So it was fairly thrilling.”

Like many at his bodily demanding place, d’Arnaud has had his share of accidents, together with a sprained thumb ligament this yr that sidelined him from Might 2-Aug. 11. Atlanta wound up utilizing seven completely different catchers to make it by means of the summer time.

“It was a grind when he was out,” Fasano stated. “We had been looking. Once we received him again it was like having your woobie again, having your heat blanket again. Since you knew he was invested into the pitchers. He has such a pleasant relationship with these guys. He’s not a giant rah-rah man. He’s very calm and fairly cerebral.”

Situations throughout Recreation 3 added to the night’s problem. It was 49 levels at recreation time and a thick mist fell on and off all through. Although he doubled within the second, d’Arnaud struck out with the bases loaded to finish the third. And he bounced to first with two on to finish the fifth.

Then, after his pitching workers’s try at a no-hitter was damaged up, Jose Siri pinch-ran for Diaz, stole second and d’Arnaud was charged with an error when his throw bounced into middle area, permitting Siri tp scramble to 3rd. It was the one time Houston put a base runner on third all night.

That’s when the doughnuts got here up. Within the postgame interview room, he was requested about his eventful day. He stated he was feeling good following the doughnut run together with his spouse, daughter (3) and son (two months), sounding like a person who wasn’t going to let something, together with an error, damage his day.

“There’s a variety of strain that would come simply pondering that you just’re in a World Sequence recreation,” d’Arnaud stated. “So I simply attempt to keep calm and take it pitch by pitch. If I get successful, cool. If I get an out, no matter. It’s extra about catching a winner.”

He did that in Recreation 3 to assist push Atlanta to a two-games-to-one collection lead. And after transferring round fairly a bit, he seems to have discovered a house for himself.

“I really like this metropolis,” he stated. “They’ve handled my household and me very effectively. I’m so grateful that I even had a chance to return right here with Alex.”

And it’s not simply Anthopoulos. It’s the pitching workers he works so effectively with, it’s the remainder of his teammates and it’s a sure catching coach that has recognized him the longest of all of them.

“Let me phrase it this fashion: When you may have a chance to teach someone within the large leagues that you just helped develop, it is perhaps one of the crucial warming emotions that you’ve as a coach,” Fasano stated. “Since you noticed all of the onerous work you place in within the youthful days, and to see what he’s blossomed into, it’s fairly superior. I do know that phrase will get overused, however it actually is fairly superior.”

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