The massive roar of the home crowd in approval of a big playoff moment is one of the biggest joys of watching sports. But an underrated mirror moment is when a stadium gets the life sucked out of it, a sort of not-sound, the auditory equivalent of water in a bay getting pulled back to sea, without a tidal wave to follow.
Manny Machado delivered that today in Atlanta.
The Dodgers are looking to eliminate the Braves in Game 4, and while Atlanta took a 2-1 lead earlier in the game, Los Angeles was in comeback mode, having already retaken the lead and putting two men on for Machado in the seventh. That’s when Manny Machado did this to an inside corner fastball:
There’s initial noise, sure, and it’s not complete silence; that’s never going to happen. But listen to the aftermath, and you realize how odd it is to be able to hear distinct cheers, instead of a wall of sound; you hear one person clapping, a few people shouting. You can make things out in a way that you almost never do when a stadium is at full capacity.
Barring a massive ninth-inning comeback for Atlanta, the Dodgers are clinching their ticket back to their third-straight NLCS tonight. It’s an unfortunate end for the Braves, who had a surprise year that thrilled plenty of their fans, including our own Joe Lucia. They’re a young, talented team, and hopefully it’s a sign of things to come.