Former Hogs pitcher Drew Smyly wins World Series title with Atlanta

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The Atlanta Braves beat Houston Astros on Tuesday night, 7-0, to win the 2021 World Series in six games and former Arkansas pitcher Drew Smyly was among the Braves who helped capture the crown.

Smyly had his best season since 2016 in his first year in Atlanta, splitting his time between the starting rotation and as a long relief pitcher. He pitched 126 2/3 innings (second most of his career) and had 117 strikeouts with a 4.48 earned-run average. In the World Series, he tossed two games against the Astros and he threw another in the National League Championship Series against Los Angeles.

Smyly is the fifth former Arkansas baseball player to win a World Series, joining Andrew Benintendi in 2018 (Boston), Dallas Keuchel in 2017 (Houston), Eric Hinske in 2007 and 2009 (Boston and New York Yankees) and Dick Hughes in 1967 (Boston).

For his career, Smyly is the second most successful Arkansas pitcher ever to play in the Major Leagues. He has a 10.2 WAR, ranking only behind Cliff Lee’s 43.2 and Keuchel’s 22.2.

Had the Astros won, Arkansas still would have had a World Series winner. Pitcher Ryne Stanek pitched in five of the six games in the series. Stanek arrived at Arkansas in 2011, the year after Smyly left.