24 Oct

random observations

Ben Ingram’s call of Atlanta’s game-turning home run on Saturday night was classic: “Who is Eddie Rosario … and where the hell did he come from?” Mississippi native and Mississippi College grad Ingram, voice of the Braves for 680 The Fan in Atlanta, fabulously captured the moment that Rosario, a largely unsung July trade acquisition from Cleveland, blasted the three-run homer that gave the Braves a three-run lead en route to the National League pennant-clinching 4-2 win against Los Angeles. Rosario, who batted .560 with three homers and nine RBIs in the NLCS, was named series MVP. … Atlanta moves on to meet Houston in the World Series, and, yes, the teams who share a Mississippi history have a postseason history, as well. They met five times in the National League playoffs, the last in 2005, an NLDS that featured the first postseason intersection of players from two different eras of Jackson-area Double-A baseball. Atlanta’s lineup included Brian McCann and Jeff Francoeur, both of whom started that season with the inaugural edition of the Mississippi Braves. Lance Berkman, who played for the Jackson Generals in 1998, started for Houston, and Raul Chavez, another ex-Gen, also played in that series. In the unforgettable fourth and final game, a 7-6 Astros win in 18 innings at Minute Maid Park, McCann and Berkman hit home runs. Vicksburg native John Thomson worked two scoreless innings for Atlanta. Weir’s Roy Oswalt was on the Houston roster but didn’t pitch; he had started and won Game 3 the day before. Roger Clemens pitched the last three innings for the Astros and got the win when Chris Burke took M-Braves alum Joey Devine deep for the walk-off winner 5 hours, 50 minutes after first pitch. … This Fall Classic pits Atlanta manager Brian Snitker, the 2005 M-Braves skipper, against his son, Troy, the Astros’ hitting coach. Atlanta’s current roster is replete with former M-Braves, and the coaching staff includes a former Jackson Generals infielder, assistant hitting coach Bobby Magallanes. … The last time the Braves went to the World Series, in 1999, they had a third baseman from Mississippi on the roster, just as they do this year. In ’99, Howard Battle, a product of Mercy Cross High in Ocean Springs, made Atlanta’s postseason roster after going 6-for-17 with a homer during a September call-up. He didn’t get an at-bat as the New York Yankees swept the World Series. DeSoto Central High alum Austin Riley, Atlanta’s current third baseman, will have much more impact. Riley — an NL MVP candidate — is batting .250 with two homers, five RBIs and six runs this postseason.