The strangest and loneliest season in major league history ended last October with a decision by Willy Adames, the new Milwaukee Brewers shortstop, not to swing. Adames, then with the Tampa Bay Rays, had struggled all month. In Game 6 of the World Series, with two strikeouts in the ninth inning, he scored a third strike against Julio Urias of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Season ended.
“I couldn’t swing,” Adames said with a laugh Tuesday. “I was swinging before that, and I couldn’t hit the ball anyway, so you might as well take it.” He was super bad.
Watching Urias’ 97 mph fastball cut through the inside corner, Adames secured a place in highlights history. But only 11,437 fans were there to see him in person due to the coronavirus pandemic, which kept fans out of the stadiums except for limited crowds during two playoffs in Arlington, Texas.
Now, with the pits full again, Adames can smell what he was missing.
“The other day when we were playing against the Cubs there were 30,000 people in the stands,” he said. “I felt like I was in the playoffs on a Monday night in the regular season. Imagine being in the World Series with the stadium packed.