World Series Update- Braves Up 3 Games to 1- Heading into Sunday Night


By Marvin A Azrak

This group based in Atlanta, Georgia has braved through adversity all season long and is now just 27 outs shy of taking this journey to the promised land. By near-perfect pitching and timely hitting, the Braves have made it two memorable evenings for the throngs of 43,000+ at Truist Park and millions around the world who saw them take game’s 3&4 2-0, and 3-2 respectively to seize a commanding 3-1 lead in the 117th World Series. Now 7-0 at home this postseason this sets them for a possible clincher on Sunday night on the field where this dream was first deemed possible when they clinched the NL East on September 30th. On the back of an outing led by Ian Anderson’s 5 no-hit innings, the Braves came within six outs of a no-hitter, while receiving clutch hitting from Austin Riley and Travis Darnu’d to take game 3. In-game four, Atlanta did what Houston couldn’t and overcame a 2-0 deficit on back-back jacks by Dansby Swanson and Jorge Soler(Once an afterthought since it was believed he was done for the year when on the IL) in the seventh inning transcended these Braves to an opportunity for six months worth of celebration come Sunday night. Truly remarkable at the slightest.


In their first World Series game at their new ballpark that opened in 2017, Atlanta “Chopped” their way to a win and a 2-1 series lead. Ian Andreson was as Astros manager Dusty Baker put it “Effectively Wild”, working around two walks and a hit by pitch each in the first and third innings, but also posting perfect frames in the second and fifth, and departed with only four k’s on the night with 76 pitches to set the tone for a “Nails” bullpen(No not arm barn but we do love animals PETA) foursome that the Atlanta Braves Twitter account has called “Nightshift” in AJ Minter, Luke Jackson, Tyler Matzek, and Will Smith to keep history pumping.


Meanwhile,  Atlanta didn’t do much on offense, and Eddie Rosario double led to one with two outs by Austin Riley in the third, which had stood up as the lone run to this point in an otherwise immaculate pitching affair. No-hit fever overwhelmed Truist Park as Tyler Matzek made his 11th postseason appearance following perfect frames by AJ and Luke, but was unable to keep the chase for history going serving up a leadoff single to Aledmys Diaz who was pinch-run for by Jose Siri, who then stole second base with two outs. Undeterred, and realizing they still had a Fall Classic swing game, Matzek induced a pop-up off the bat of Micheal Brantley to preserve the 1-0 Atlanta lead. In the bottom of the eighth, Travis Darnu’d unloaded on a two-out solo shot to give his team insurance, make it 2-0, and give closer Will Smith an extra run to work with heading into the ninth. Alex Bregman led off the last of the ninth with a single for the Astros second hit of the ballgame, but Smith retired the next three Houston hitters to seal the deal, and send the team mascot in “Blooper” onto the field to carry the Braves flag unified in victory with the rambunctious crowd in Braves country.

MVP: Ian Andreson
WORLD SERIES MVP(So far): Tyler Matzek


Dylan Lee ran in from the bullpen on Saturday night to make his first career start, but it was also game four of the World Series. As you can imagine, anybody would be shaking in his boots in that situation, but the fact he even got this honor is a milestone and a great achievement within itself. Dylan faced four hitters, but three of them reached base, thus ending his night. Kyle Wright would bail him out though, only allowing an RBI groundout to Carlos Correa, before going 4.1 more frames of one-run baseball. Even more astounding, he spent nearly the entire regular season in the minors (2 games with the Braves, 9.95 ERA). Inherited a bases-loaded situation in the top of the 1st inning. Gotta love baseball. Especially when a guy does it the “Wright way”. On the other hand, Zack Grenkie grunted his way through four scoreless innings, before a Jose Altuve solo moonshot in the fifth extended the Astros lead to 2-0.


However, these Braves hadn’t been shutout at home since August 28th, and weren’t about to make that their fate on this brisk Saturday night. Against fireballer Phil Maton, Austin Riley stroked an 0-2, 2 out off-speed offering into left field to score Eddie Roasario, and cut Atlanta’s deficit in half. But Maton would redeem himself, and “Phil” up the strike zone on the 1-2 pitch to freeze Travis Darnu’d, and strand the bases loaded to maintain the 2-1 Houston lead. After a scoreless top half of the seventh by the staggering Tyler Matzek, Atlanta received multiple charges to their battery, as Dansy Swanson lifted an oppo-taco to right field to even the score, before Jorge Soler unglued Atlanta, with a “Soler power” blast to left field to go back-back with his teammate as 8-9 hitters in the lineup, putting the Braves in the lead for good at 3-2. Minutes later, when Will Smith induced a ground ball off the bat of Yordon Alvarez to Ozzie Albies for the final out of the game; Atalanta had officially “Braved” through adversity yet again, and now only 27 outs separate them from this fantasy tale becoming a reality which can happen at the very field where the late Hank Aaron’s #44 in engraved in Centerfield, which would be Truist  Park Sunday night in Atlanta.


Meanwhile, Houston went 0 for 8 with men in a scoring position overwhelmed by Atlanta’s stable of arms and now must summon the 2016 Cubs as they try to stave off elimination and send this series back to the Juice Box where the fans will be “Juiced up” as ever should they get it back there. But it’s been a “Minute” since game two, and if the Astros want to force game 6 at Minute-Maid Park on Tuesday night, they will need to take some “Brave” swings when the bases are gold with Astros.

MVP: Kyle Wright
WORLD SERIES MVP(So far): Tyler Matzek


Framber Valdez will toe the rubber for Houston opposite 25-year-old rookie Tucker Davidson for the Braves who will go the “opener” route after losing Charlie Morton to a broken leg in game one. Per MLB networks Jon Morosi, Davidson, 25, has appeared in 5 career MLB games. He has yet to pitch in the postseason. Quite a scenario, isn’t it?

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