World Series Baseball
Updated: Oct 29, 2021
Braves Strike First, Take Game 1 At Houston, 6-2, A Look Ahead at Game 2
The Braves struck first and didn’t look back as Atlanta took of business in Game One. The Braves bats got hot early, and Atlanta’s pitching got the job in Houston.
Jorge Soler started it off with a bang with a leadoff homer in the first inning off Framber Valdez to give the Braves the early edge. Austin Riley kept it going with an RBI double to put them up 2-0 in the first inning. Soler’s homer marked the first time in World Series history there was a leadoff home run in Game One.
In the next inning, Atlanta tacked on one more to put the Braves up by three, then Adam Duval knocked Valdez out of the game with a two-run homer in the third.
The Braves tacked on more insurance in the eight, thanks to a sack fly from Freddie Freeman.
Braves’ starting pitcher Charlie Morton looked decent through two but left after 21/3 innings pitched. The right-hander injured his ankle after striking out Astros’ second basemen Jose Altuve. Jeff Passan would later announce that Morton had broken his fibula. He will miss the remainder of the postseason.
The Astros found some life in the fourth inning after a ball awkwardly bounced off Dansby Swanson’s glove allowing Kyle Tucker to score from third. However, Braves’ reliever A.J Minter pitched out of a jam to limit the damage to only one run.
Minter pitched well in relief for Morton, going 2 2/3 with four K’s to go along with one earned. Then, it was up to Luke Jackson, Tyler Matzek, and Will Smith to get the job done, and they delivered.
The play of the game belongs to Eddie Rosario. In the bottom of the eighth inning, Rosario made a heck of a throw from left field to gun down Astros’ first baseman Yuli Gurriel at second base.
- Atlanta got off to a hot start early on in the game, which is what they need to continue to do if they want to win this series. The key to beating Houston is to get to their starting pitching early. Soler and Duval got the bats rolling with dingers, and if they can keep this up, I don’t see them getting stopped.
- This postseason, the big story for the Braves has been their bullpen. After Morton’s early exit, the bullpen did their part. Minter was the star for the Braves pitching-wise, but the work of Jackson and Matzek’s ability to get out of tricky situations also helped.
- The loss of Charlie Morton is going to hurt them a lot. Morton has been one of the most reliable pitchers in recent years and has been the Braves’ best pitcher this season. Losing him for the remainder of the postseason will sting for sure, but I think they will be fine even without Morton.
- Houston left a lot of runners in scoring position this game, including leaving the bases loaded in the first inning. The Astros bullpen kept the game within reach but couldn’t get anything going on the offensive side. Altuve struggled at the plate, striking out three times tonight. If the Astros can’t get their hitting together, it’s going to be a short series.
Game Two Preview
Looking ahead to tomorrow’s Game Two matchup, Max Fried will be taking the mound for the Atlanta Braves as they face Astros pitcher Jose Urquidy.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
I think the Astros’ have to get the bats going tomorrow against Max Fried, who is coming off a less than stellar outing in his last postseason start. For Houston to win tomorrow night, they have to get to Fried early and keep the pedal to the medal. If not, this could be their last home game this season.
For the Braves, the strategy remains the same. This series is based on momentum, and in order for the Braves or the Astros to win the World Series, they have to get off to a great start. I’m looking forward to a great game tomorrow. It should be lots of fun.
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