World Series 2021 — Best moments, action and more from Game 2 between Braves and Astros


Similar to Game 1, Game 2 of the World Series lacked the standard pressure and drama we like to see within the Fall Classic. The Houston Astros led 5-1 after two innings and the Atlanta Braves by no means actually threatened after that. The closest they got here to creating the Astros sweat a bit of got here within the prime of the fifth when Freddie Freeman hit a two-out RBI single off Jose Urquidy to make it 5-2, however Urquidy acquired Ozzie Albies to floor out to first.

Max Fried’s pitching line seems ugly for the Braves with six runs in five-plus innings, but it surely was a kind of video games the place the Astros saved hitting groundballs with eyes, particularly within the four-run second when all 5 hits within the inning got here on grounders. It was actually simply unhealthy luck more than something as solely one of many 5 was a hard-hit ball. Brian Snitker did go away him for a pair batters too many, main to a different run within the sixth, but it surely’s arduous accountable Fried an excessive amount of.

The Braves’ protection has principally been on lockdown mode this postseason, however that inning was helped by Eddie Rosario‘s throw to 3rd when no one was protecting, permitting Jose Siri to attain, and later within the recreation Albies dropped the ball attempting to show a double play, permitting one other run to attain.

In one sense, the blowout rating made issues simpler for Snitker, as he was in a position to keep away from his 4 prime relievers, who needed to mix for 20 outs in Game 1 after Charlie Morton’s harm. That means A.J. Minter, Luke Jackson, Tyler Matzek and Will Smith will all be in fine condition when the collection shifts to Atlanta for Game 3 on Friday. The Houston bullpen has been wonderful within the postseason as Cristian Javier has now thrown 9 scoreless innings and Phil Maton, Kendall Graveman and Ryan Pressly proceed to look sharp.

The shift in venues additionally means the elimination of the DH, which brings the managers into the sport a bit of more. Dusty Baker can even need to face a tough choice on what to do in his outfield. If he needs to get each Michael Brantley and Yordan Alvarez within the lineup in opposition to Ian Anderson, meaning transferring Kyle Tucker to heart area, the place he has performed simply 28 innings this season.

He’s most likely OK on the market, however nonetheless an Alvarez-Tucker-Brantley outfield makes you worse in any respect three positions (Alvarez is worse than Brantley in left, Brantley is worse than Tucker in proper, and Tucker is probably going worse than Chas McCormick or Siri in heart). As we noticed in Game 2, protection issues, however Alvarez and Tucker rank 1-2 within the postseason in OPS for the Astros and the regular Brantley is hitting .352. Baker most likely performs all three lefty sticks and it is arduous to argue in opposition to that. –David Schoenfield

Closer to historical past for Jose Altuve

Jose Altuve greeted Drew Smyly with a house run off a first-pitch fastball, main off the underside of the seventh by sneaking a fly ball simply contained in the left-field pole for a 7-2 Astros lead. It was Altuve’s twenty second profession residence run within the postseason, tying him with Bernie Williams for second on the all-time record, behind Manny Ramirez’s 29. While Williams did it in 121 video games, Altuve has required simply 75. Altuve had struggled within the ALCS, hitting .125 (though with two residence runs), and then went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts in Game 1. But he doubled and scored within the first and now homers.

Urquidy stays regular

Urquidy gave the Astros 5 strong innings, however the Braves hit 4 balls off him at 90-plus mph within the fifth inning, so it’s important to assume Dusty Baker would have went to the bullpen within the sixth inning – particularly with the Braves previous the highest three hitters within the lineup (two lefties and a switch-hitter). That meant 5 of the subsequent batters within the Atlanta lineup are right-handed, so usher in considered one of your powerful righties within the bullpen. Indeed, Cristian Javier warmed within the Houston bullpen. He held righties to a .155 common within the common season and has tossed 7⅔ scoreless innings within the postseason. Look for Baker to attempt to get two innings from Javier and then Kendall Graveman and Ryan Pressly for the eighth and ninth.

Houston heats up

Well, that escalated shortly. The Astros scored three runs within the backside of the second on two floor ball singles (94.4 and 84.2 mph exit velocity), an infield single (51.5 mph) and one other floor ball single (89.1 mph) — not a hard-hit ball within the bunch (a hard-hit ball is classed as 95-plus mph). The Astros additionally acquired assist from a horrendous defensive play by the Braves that even a Little League staff should not commit. On Martin Maldonado’s base hit to left area — that is the 89.1 mph one — Braves third baseman Austin Riley arrange too deep to chop off the throw residence, regardless that there was no likelihood to make a play there. With shortstop Dansby Swanson in shallow left area after attempting to area the bottom hit, no one coated third base, so the speedy Jose Siri (he beat out that infield hit with a powerful sprint to first) raced into third. Left fielder Eddie Rosario threw the ball there, and the ball rolled towards the dugout, permitting Siri to dash residence with the third run. Oh, and then Michael Brantley’s two-out floor ball single scored Maldonado for a 5-1 lead.

At least that one was hit at 101.3 mph. Who says small ball is useless?

Evening the rating

Jose Urquidy had 4 strikeouts by two innings for the Astros, however Travis d’Arnaud tagged him for a second-inning residence run to tie the sport. Urquidy has hardly ever overwhelmed himself with walks, however he’s an excessive fly ball pitcher and d’Arnaud jumped throughout a 3-2 fastball up within the zone — a disappointing end result for Urquidy after being forward 0-2 within the depend. Small warning signal transferring ahead: The Braves have already hit three balls at 100-plus mph (together with d’Arnaud’s residence run at 104.1). Urquidy has had some swings and misses, however the Braves are additionally hitting him arduous. You know Dusty Baker needs to get some size from Urquidy, however he additionally will not hesitate to herald Cristian Javier in lengthy aid.

Hometown Heroes

Joc Pederson rocked his signature pearls for Wednesday evening’s contest and Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan bacled up the Braves.

Meanwhile, the Astros sought a win at residence earlier than the collection heads to Atlanta.

Excused absence

Would you somewhat do “homewrk” or attend the World Series? This younger fan had made the powerful choice to help his staff Wednesday.

Heat Check

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