Game one was a tone setter, and a testament to how these scrappy Atlanta Braves got here. Jorge Soler ignited solar power to this series fall classic with a leadoff HR, and the Braves overcame an injury to their ace Charlie Morton, and saw their bullpen go the final 6.2 frames pitching effectively, in their 6-2 victory to steal home-field advantage in the Fall Classic.
Being the road team, Atlanta needed to show their “Bravery” for this stage early and often, which is what they did when Jorge Soler began the contest with a leadoff bomb off of Framber Valdez to silence the raucous crowd at Minute-Maid park in Houston. Considering how many thought Jorge’s season was over before he came back late in the NLCS, this was an enormous breakthrough for the visitors. After an Ozzie Albies one out single, he then won America free tacos by stealing second base putting himself in scoring position for Austin Riley’s RBI double that gave the Braves a 2-0 first-inning lead. In the second, another run came across on what was a questionable decision by Carlos Correa to go for the runner at third, rather than Travis Darnu’d who scampered home to extend the Atlanta advantage. Valdez, who’d been so phenomenal in game five of the ALCS, saw his night come to a close when Adam Duval launched one into the Crawford boxes for a two run shot, that gave the Braves a commanding 5-0 stranglehold of game one they wouldn’t relinquish.
While Valdez had a night to forget, Charlie Morton had a night to remember through two innings, before he departed the game with one out in the third due to a broken fibula which came on a Yuli Gurriel line drive in the inning prior. This meant that the Atlanta ace pitched to three batters on a broken leg, and got all three outs on 16 pitches even striking two of them out. After Morton limped off, the Braves bullpen sprung into action, with AJ Minter going. 2.2 innings of one run baseball, with only came on a Dansby Swanson error in the fourth. Luke Jackson would go 1.2 scoreless before
NLCS hero Tyler Matzek would relive AJ, and the fireballer would keep the conga line moving by going 1.1 innings, only allowing a Carlos Correa RBI groundout to hurt them. But stellar defensive play wasn’t lost on the opener of the 117th fall classic, for NLCS MVP Eddie Rosario gunned down Yuli Gurriel with a canon-like throw from left field to end the 8th inning. Will Smith slammed the door in the ninth, and despite taking 111 games in the regular season just to get over the .500 mark, Atlanta is now three wins away from a World Series championship. For Braves county, it was their first World Series win since game two of the 1996 World Series at Yankee stadium, and although they made it back in ‘99, they were swept by the Bombers dynasty.
Game one also marked 53 years one month, and 19 days since Houston manager Dusty Baker made his MLB debut for the Braves against the Astros. But what shouldn’t concern Houston going forward is the fact they just saw 6.2 frames of the Braves bullpen, and received seven innings of one run ball out of there’s.
Game one MVP: Jorge Soler
TAKING HOME THE HARDWARE:
Before last nights Shohei Ohtani became the 16th player ever to receive the commissioner’s award; only given at Rob Manfred’s discretion for a player who made a “major impact on the game. Ohtani is the first recipient since 2014 when Derek Jeter won it.
Max Fried will go for the Braves opposite Jose Uquidy of Houston, who will look to even up the series.
Game time is at 8:09 PM ET