The Astros offense is asserting itself, with a little help from Atlanta’s fielders. Houston now leads, 5-1.
After Carlos Correa started the inning by striking out on four pitches, Kyle Tucker laced a single up the middle. Yuli Gurriel singled as well, sending Tucker to third, and that put him in position to score fairly easily on a soft grounder by Jose Siri that eluded Max Fried.
One batter later, Martín Maldonado, arguably the worst hitter in baseball, singled between the third baseman and the shortstop, driving in one run, and another scored thanks to an odd error. Eddie Rosario, who had fielded the single, saw Siri going to third and tried to throw him out — only no one was covering the base. As Atlanta tried to corral the loose ball, Siri came around to score.
Maldonado had advanced to second on the error, and he reached third on a wild pitch. The slow-footed catcher chose not to try tagging up on Jose Altuve’s fly-out to center, and that proved wise as Maldonado was able to score much more easily on Michael Brantley’s single to right.
Fried finally got out of the inning when Alex Bregman grounded out to third, but this game has suddenly tilted heavily in Houston’s favor.
Atlanta made it through 10 postseason games before the World Series with just one error. But the Braves committed one last night, and another tonight.
Houston piling on, leads 5-1 after Brantley’s single.
The two-out single let Martín Maldonado score easily.
Astros lead 4-1 on Martín Maldonado’s single.
One run scored on the single and another scored on a throwing error by Eddie Rosario.
Jose Siri’s infield single makes it 2-1 Houston.
Max Fried couldn’t field a soft grounder to his left and the bouncing ball let Kyle Tucker score.
Staked to a lead, Jose Urquidy started well, but that didn’t last long.
He struck out Joc Pederson on four pitches and retired Adam Duvall on a fly ball to center.
The third batter of the inning was Travis d’Arnaud, who promptly tied the game with a 375-foot homer to left.
Dansby Swanson singled to left, but Urquidy got out of the inning when Eddie Rosario, swinging at the first pitch he saw, lined out to first.
Atlanta ties it at 1-1 on d’Arnaud’s solo homer.
With two outs, Travis d’Arnaud crushed a ball 375 feet to left, quieting the crowd some at Minute Maid Field.
The Astros are the first team on the board.
Jose Altuve, who struggled badly in Game 1, opened this game with a double to left off Max Fried. When Michael Brantley flied out to the warning track in center, Altuve had plenty of time to advance to third. That put him in position to score easily on a fly out to center by Alex Bregman.
With two outs and the bases empty, Fried got out of the inning by inducing a soft grounder from Yordan Alvarez that Freddie Freeman fielded and tossed to Fried, who was covering first.
HOUSTON — The National Congress of American Indians criticized Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred for his comments on Tuesday before Game 1 of the World Series about the Atlanta Braves’ name and the tomahawk chop, both of which are considered offensive by some Native American groups.
When asked about the chop, a chant and motion long used by fans and prompted by the team during home games, Manfred said that each of M.L.B.’s markets was different. He also said that the Native American community in the Atlanta region is “wholly supportive of the Braves program, including the chop.”
“For me, that’s kind of the end of the story,” added Manfred, later adding that M.L.B. wasn’t marketed nationally and that each club has to sell tickets to their distinct fan base.
The Atlanta team has said it has no plans to change its name. Asked if there was more pressure to change Atlanta’s name after Cleveland switched its nickname to the Guardians because the team’s owner said the longtime moniker was no longer acceptable, Manfred again said that every M.L.B. community was different.
Fawn Sharp, the president of the National Congress of American Indians, released the following statement on Wednesday, via the Athletic:
Astros take 1-0 lead on Bregman’s sacrifice fly.
Jose Altuve scored easily from third on Alex Bregman’s fly out to center.
The World Series is a best-of-seven affair. But to Tom Glavine, who knows championship pressure better than most, Wednesday night’s Game 2 is especially important for Atlanta after the pitcher Charlie Morton’s season ended abruptly on Tuesday.
“Tonight’s a pivotal game in the sense that, A, you can come home up 2-0, which is obviously huge,” Glavine, the winning pitcher in Games 2 and 6 in 1995, the last time Atlanta claimed the title, said on Wednesday. “But at the same time, I think it helps them manage the loss of Charlie a little bit better if they go up 2-0.”
When the Astros come to the plate in the bottom of the first inning on Wednesday, Atlanta will turn to Max Fried, a 27-year-old lefthander who will be making his eighth career start in the postseason and his first in the World Series. He struggled, though, in his most recent appearance, when he started Game 5 of the National League Championship Series against the Dodgers and gave up five runs, a postseason career-high, in less than five innings.
That, Glavine argued, might have Fried in a better position for a strong start at Houston’s Minute Maid Park.
“His first World Series start will be a little bit different than anything else he’s ever experienced, but he has playoff experience to fall back on, and I like the fact that he didn’t have his best game last time out,” Glavine said. “I always feel better about guys like that, after they’ve had a little bit of an off outing, that the next one is going to be a good one.”
Fried said this week that the series against Los Angeles had been a lesson in “just trying not to do too much.”
“When I have more of a pitch-by-pitch mentality instead of an at-bat to an at-bat mentality, things can speed up on you a little bit,” he said. “To be able to take a deep breath and know that, if I make this pitch right here, that’s all I really can control in the moment and be able to just kind of go from there.”
Jose Urquidy, pitching for just the second time this postseason, struck out the Astros’ leadoff batter, Eddie Rosario, on five pitches. Urquidy then fell behind against Freddie Freeman, 2-0, but recovered to strike out last year’s Most Valuable Player Award winner on a called strike three that Freeman definitely thought was a ball.
With two outs, Ozzie Albies tapped a ball down the third-base line that slowly rolled to a stop as Albies reached first for an infield single. Austin Riley followed with a single to right, but Urquidy recovered to strike out Jorge Soler and end the inning.
It wasn’t much of a threat, but Atlanta made Urquidy work a bit.
Game 2 is officially underway with Houston’s Jose Urquidy delivering a first pitch strike to Atlanta’s Eddie Rosario. Can Atlanta take a 2-0 lead on the road?
HOUSTON — Tucker Davidson was watching Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday with two team staff members in a hotel lobby in Gwinnett, Ga., near Atlanta’s minor league training facility. Early in the broadcast, Davidson saw Charlie Morton, the Atlanta starting pitcher, leave the game with a serious leg injury.
“We kind of looked around like, ‘This is why we’re here,’” Davidson said. “This is the reason we have the taxi squad, for this reason right here.”
Morton suffered a fracture of his lower right leg after he was struck with a batted ball in the second inning of Tuesday’s game, which Atlanta won, 6-2. He is out for the rest of the series and went to Green Bay, Wis., to see a specialist for the injury. Davidson, a left-handed pitcher from Amarillo, Texas, said as soon as he saw Morton leave the game, he had a gut feeling that he would get the call. He was right.
Within a few hours, he was told to get a plane for Houston early Wednesday morning and was at Minute Maid Park in time for batting practice before Game 2.
“It’s a huge deal,” he said. “It’s an honor to be here. Pitching in Texas is going to be awesome. I haven’t done that, I don’t think, since college. That will be a fun, unique experience. The opportunity to make my postseason debut in the World Series.”
Brian Snitker, Atlanta’s manager, would not detail how Davidson would be used, but suggested he could be available out of the bullpen.
Davidson made four starts for Atlanta this season before he was shut down with left forearm soreness. When he recovered in October, he was assigned to Atlanta’s alternate site and worked out to prepare for this opportunity.
“Reports were really good how he was throwing,” Snitker said, “and he feels good. He did a really nice job for us when he was here the first time.”
Reggie Jackson is at Minute Maid Park again tonight, 44 years after No. 44’s masterpiece: A three-homer outing for the Yankees in the clinching game of the 1977 World Series. That was when Jackson became Mr. October, the nickname that’s stitched in orange on the side of the navy cap he’s wearing.
The navy color fits, but the orange is new. Jackson, 75, joined the Houston Astros in May as a special adviser to the team’s owner, Jim Crane. In an interview last week, Jackson said his role was to reassure the players.
“Everybody gets doubt once in a while,” Jackson said. “No matter how good you are, no matter how well you’re playing, it’s always nice to hear something positive from someone that’s been down the road you’d like to go. I played with great players and had a lot of support, so when a player struggles a little bit, it’s a big help when he can look through experienced eyes and a guy says to him, ‘Don’t worry about it, you’re going to be all right.’”
Even before he joined the Astros, Jackson avidly watched their games. In the press elevator after Game 5 of the 2017 World Series — a tour de force by second baseman Jose Altuve — Crane proudly showed a text message from Jackson.
“Altuve, the best player in the game,” read the message. “Says who? Says Mr. October.”
Reporting from Minute Maid Park
Eddie Rosario, who batted fifth for Atlanta in Game 1, moved back into the leadoff spot in the batting order for Game 2. Atlanta Manager Brian Snitker said Rosario, a lefty hitter who has been on a tear all postseason, batted fifth in Game 1 because he was facing the left-hander Framber Valdez, and it was a formula that worked before. Jose Urquidy, a right-hander, is starting Game 2.
The Houston Astros have not played a game with the retractable roof open at Minute Maid Park since April. But Major League Baseball mandated that it be opened for Game 2 of the World Series on Wednesday.
Dusty Baker, the Astros’ manager, said opening the roof could take away some of his team’s natural home-field advantage because his players were not used to the conditions.
“There’s always going to be a predominant wind direction, which with the roof open will probably take away some of our home-field advantage,” he said, “because we don’t really probably know much more how the ball’s going to carry in a predominant wind any more than they do.”
Then again, Houston has not won a World Series home game in their last five tries, losing four times to Washington in 2019 and Tuesday’s Game 1 to Atlanta.
Atlanta had a big lead on Tuesday when Eddie Rosario — who else? — mastered one of Minute Maid Park’s outfield quirks.
Yuli Gurriel swung on the first pitch he saw from Tyler Matzek and drove the ball high into left, where it hit just below the all-important yellow line (but still far higher than most outfield fences), bounced near the warning track and reached Rosario’s waiting glove. Rosario turned and fired to second, where Ozzie Albies tagged Gurriel to end the eighth inning.
But with Game 2 — and possibly Games 6 and 7 — to be played in Houston, it’s entirely possible we will see more unusual plays in the outfield before this series is done.
“I’d say it’s one of the trickiest outfields in the big leagues, just the way it bounces off the surfaces,” said Adam Duvall, who played center and right on Tuesday. With Minute Maid overflowing with strange things to hit — padding, brick, the outfield fence, safety fences, the scoreboard and a roof — Duvall said Atlanta’s outfielders had spent time ahead of the series practicing how to deal with their varied effects.
“We tried to hit on all that and tried to figure out where we need to be when it bounces off the wall,” he said. “That’s preparation. That’s the little things that people may not see at home, but that’s part of prepping. That’s part of what we do. We try to cover all the little things because little things become big things in games like this. That was a big play.”
Every park has its own ground rules. Here are some highlights of Houston’s:
If a batted ball gets lodged in — or goes through — the out-of-town scoreboard in left, it’s a double. The outcome is the same if a ball strikes the top of the scoreboard and bounces into the stands.
Staying in left, a batter homers if the ball hits the fence’s yellow line, or the top of the left-center railing “at a point above the stands,” and continues into the seating area. But if the ball bounces into the field, it’s in play.
In right, a ball is in play when it hits even the slightest part of the yellow line on the outfield wall and comes onto the field.
Atlanta fans woke up thrilled on Wednesday after their Braves won a World Series game for the first time in 25 years. But they can hold off — for now — on shutting down Peachtree Street for a victory parade.
A Game 1 win, after all, is no guarantor of a championship. Atlanta’s own World Series history shows that.
In 1996, the Braves won Games 1 and 2 over the Yankees and then lost the next four. Atlanta also took Game 1 of the 1992 World Series, but eventually lost the series to Toronto.
But in almost two-thirds of World Series’, the Game 1 winner has ultimately taken home the title. One of the exceptions: Houston, which faltered in Game 1 in 2017 and then won the franchise’s lone — and, many believe, tainted — championship. In fact, Tuesday’s loss moved the Astros franchise to 0-4 in World Series openers across 2005, 2017, 2019 and this year.
“We’ve moved past it,” Framber Valdez, the losing pitcher in Game 1, said afterward. “Tonight’s over. Tomorrow we’re going to come in here and try to win it and do everything we can to get our first win in the World Series.”
And Dusty Baker, Houston’s manager, said his team “doesn’t worry, and our team’s very confident.”
“We have the knack of bouncing back after losses, after tough losses because they don’t quit, they don’t give up, they don’t get down,” he added. “That’s the secret of sports.”
Baker would know: When he played for Los Angeles, the Dodgers lost the first and second games of the 1981 World Series. Then they pulled off four straight victories over the Yankees to give the franchise its first championship since 1965.
Atlanta has added the left-handed pitcher Tucker Davidson to its World Series roster to replace Charlie Morton, the Game 1 starter who fractured the fibula of his right leg on Tuesday.
Davidson, 25, has limited experience in the major leagues and has appeared in just five games for Atlanta in the last two seasons. He started four games for Atlanta in 2021, allowing 15 hits and eight runs in 20 innings of work. He did not earn a decision in any of his starts this season, when he struck out 18 and had an E.R.A. of 3.60.
He last pitched a major league game on June 15, when he left a game against Boston and afterward went on the injured list with forearm trouble.
Davidson will be filling the spot of one of baseball’s premier postseason pitchers, especially in winner-take-all games. A comebacker struck Morton in the second inning on Tuesday, but Atlanta has not said when, exactly, he was injured and he threw 16 pitches — and got three outs — after being hit.
The questions around the timeline, though, did not change the outcome that Morton’s season was finished.
“He wants to be on this stage,” Brain Snitker, Atlanta’s manager, said. “God bless him, I hate it for him. Really hate it for him. He’s such a great person, great person and teammate. I do, I really hate it for him because I know he’s really looking forward to this run with us. So we’ll move on.”
The options for Game 2 are eerily similar to those for watching Game 1.
Who: The Atlanta Braves vs. the Houston Astros
What: 2021 World Series, Game 2 (Atlanta leads the best-of-seven series, 1-0)
When: 8:09 p.m. Eastern time
Where: Minute Maid Park, Houston
Watch: The game will be broadcast on Fox and streamed on FoxSports.com as well as streaming services like FuboTV, Hulu Live and YouTube TV.