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World Series Game 2: Early Outburst Pushes Astros Past Braves

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Move over, Apple’s virtual assistant. There’s a new Siri in town.

Rookie outfielder Jose Siri fueled a second-inning scoring parade against the Atlanta Braves in Game 2 of the World Series. This early surge gave the Houston Astros more than enough runs needed for a comfortable lead and eventual 7-2 win, tying the series at one apiece.

Recap

The Astros’ preliminary lead came in the first inning, when Alex Bregman‘s sac fly off Max Fried plated Jose Altuve. While a solo homer from Travis d’Arnaud temporarily tied the game in the top of the second, Houston struck for four more to take the lead in the bottom of the frame. Four consecutive singles plus a wild throw by NLCS MVP Eddie Rosario put Houston up by a score of 4-1. As referenced, Siri kicked off the rally with his RBI knock. It was an incredible infield single that would have resulted in a groundout for the vast majority of MLB players. Siri, however, bucked that trend with his aggressive speed heading down the first-base line. The Astros tacked on one more courtesy of a Michael Brantley single. After this, though, temporary silence greeted the teams. Both Houston and Atlanta failed to record a baserunner in the third and fourth innings.

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In the top of the fifth inning, a Freddie Freeman single plated d’Arnaud, put Atlanta within three, and forced a mound visit for Houston starter Jose Urquidy. However, the jam ended moments later when Urquidy got Ozzie Albies to ground out. Fried retired all three batters he faced in the bottom of the fifth, striking out two along the way.

Urquidy was replaced by Christian Javier in the sixth inning. The reliever tiptoed around a one-out double to escape unscathed. On the other hand, Braves skipper Brian Snitker let Fried take the mound for the bottom of the frame. He was quickly pulled after allowing a walk and single with no outs. Dylan Lee replaced Fried, racking up back-to-back forceouts. This was a win-win as Atlanta recorded two outs with runners in scoring position while Houston extended its lead to 6-2. Jesse Chavez entered to escape the jam, notching the final out.

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Javier opened the seventh and allowed a strikeout and walk before being relieved by Phil Maton, who escaped unscathed. However, Drew Smyly, who entered for Atlanta moments later, had no such luck. The veteran southpaw allowed a first-pitch solo homer to Altuve followed by a double off the bat of Brantley. A walk and hit batsman later, Houston was threatening with the bases loaded, though they were unable to score any additional runs.

Ryan Pressly had a strong eighth on the mound. As for Atlanta, Kyle Wright struck out all three batters he faced. Kendall Graveman closed out the game in the ninth with three straight outs.

Statistics

Stats-wise, Siri went just 1-for-4 with an RBI single and three strikeouts. However, his base knock, which broke a 1-1 tie, was full of passion and work ethic, which is exactly what Dusty Baker was looking for when he inserted the youngster into his lineup. Other strong performers included Jose Altuve, who doubled and homered, and Kyle Tucker, who reached twice and swiped a bag. On the mound, both of Atlanta’s runs came off Urquidy (two earned runs, seven strikeouts). 

Six players logged a hit for Atlanta, but their only batter who recorded multiple was d’Arnaud (single and solo homer). On a more negative note, the middle third of the order, which consisted of Austin Riley, Jorge Soler, and Joc Pederson, combined for seven of Atlanta’s 12 strikeouts. Pitching-wise, Fried’s six earned runs proved quite costly. With that said, although it was too late, the bullpen did bail him out, surrendering just one run and two hits over four innings. 

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What’s Next?

After two games in Houston, we still don’t know much. After all, the series is still tied, just like it was before the best-of-seven set began. On the other hand, we have witnessed a critical injury for the Braves, who lost Game 1 starter Charlie Morton to a fibula issue. While the Braves took the preliminary contest, Houston’s ability to equalize the series puts the Braves, sans Morton, in a trickier position going forward.

With that said, the Braves now return home for three games. While unlikely, it’s possible that they could steal three in a row and win the World Series in front of the home crowd. At the very least, though, heading back to Atlanta serves as a nice counter to Houston’s momentum.

Game 3 pits starters Luis Garcia and Ian Anderson against each other. The former has allowed 10 runs through 9.1 innings this postseason, but he looked phenomenal his last time out, delivering 5.2 scoreless frames against the Red Sox in the ALCS. Meanwhile, Anderson is no stranger to postseason brilliance. Throughout his postseason career, he is 3-0 with a 1.47 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, and 36 strikeouts through 30.2 innings. This year alone, he is 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, and 12 strikeouts over the course of a dozen frames. Both will look to limit runs while going the distance during Game 3 on Friday.

Date: Friday, Oct. 29 at 8:09 p.m. EST
TV: FOX
Stadium: Truist Park
Location: Atlanta, Ga.
Astros Pitcher: Luis Garcia | 1-1, 9.64 ERA
Braves Pitcher: Ian Anderson | 1-0, 2.25 ERA


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Main Image Credit:

Embed from Getty Images

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