World Series Recap – Sunday, 10/31

Houston fights for their life and lives to play another day.

We sure got ourselves a treat of a game on Halloween this year, and while Atlanta fans everywhere were hoping to close this one out at home, it just wasn’t meant to be. But that’s not to say we didn’t get plenty of action out of this game, because we most certainly did. The fun actually started before the game even started, and with it being Halloween and all you had to figure there would be at least a few player costumes…

 

 

And of course, DistortBot had to chime in…

 

 

Now, onto the game itself. Tucker Davidson replaced Charlie Morton on the roster, and Brian Snitker called him this morning to tell him he was starting the game. How about that for drama? Imagine waking up, starting your daily routine on the john while scrolling Twitter, and getting a call from your manager saying you’re about to start Game 5 of the World Series? Well, you and I aren’t professional baseball players so we might be a little confused, but I can’t imagine the range of emotions Davidson went through after that call. It probably didn’t feel real.

With the ballpark absolutely buzzing pregame, Atlanta brought in one of the greatest pitchers of all time to kick it off. This, unfortunately, would be a sign of things to come.

 

 

Astros 9, Atlanta 5

 

This game started off looking like Atlanta was a team of destiny. After an inning-ending double play got Davidson out of a small jam, the crowd and the team were absolutely fired up heading into the bottom half of the inning. Atlanta loaded the bases for one of their key deadline acquisitions, Adam Duvall, who holds a special place in my heart as a former player for my hometown team, the Sanford Mainers of the NECBL. What did he do on the first pitch of the at-bat?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After their Atlanta Falcons lost a brutal game to the Carolina Panthers earlier in the day, Atlanta fans were able to release all of their pent-up emotions with this slam. This was one of those “holy crap, I wish I were there right now” moments for any baseball fan regardless of team affiliation. Feeling that energy, that emotion, with the Commissioner’s Trophy in the building and the champagne on ice, had to be one of the most incredible moments in the lives of anyone at that ballpark. There’s a reason the cheapest seat in the building was going for around $1,000 just minutes before first pitch, and it’s that feeling of watching your team take the lead on top of a monster Grand Slam in the first inning. Incredible.

On the other side of the diamond, the Astros simply looked dejected. Heads were down. One of the key plays of that inning was a grounder to third that took a tough hop and got over the glove of Alex Bregman. He didn’t make the play, and he kept staring at the ground for minutes afterward. The energy in that dugout was not good and it seemed like it was going to be a runaway win for Atlanta in their own building.

But the Astros were in this spot for a reason. They’re a team that, despite all the odds, they ahem find a way to win when they need it most. In the next inning, Bregman got his revenge by driving in a run on an RBI double.

 

 

Shortly after that, Martín Maldonado drove in another run via a sacrifice fly to cut the lead in half. Houston had some life and there was still plenty of baseball left to be played.

This game wasn’t all about the offense, though. Carlos Correa made an awesome play in the bottom half of the inning that surely will be making all of the highlight reels today.

 

 

Then, as we all should have predicted, the Astros continued to fight and clawed their way back to square it all up thanks to this double by Correa and then a groundout by Yuli Gurriel that plated the tying run.

 

 

Many folks, myself included, stubbornly thought the Astros were dead. The energy in that building after the Duvall slam could be felt through TV sets across the country, but it was pretty much sapped by the time Houston tied it back up.

 

 

It was essentially a 0-0 ballgame after the top half of the third, but Atlanta’s leader, Freddie Freeman, had something to say about that. Check out the awesome one-handed grab off the bounce by the fan in the old-school jersey.

 

 

 

 

 

Atlanta fans once again erupted with emotion and there was a glimmer of hope on the horizon. Little did they know, this would be the final run scored by Atlanta in their home ballpark this season…

With this being the We Love Baseball section, we’ve gotta have some fun outside of runs scored, right? We love everything baseball here, even when it’s a loveable pitcher who ropes a single to right in a pinch-hit at-bat.

 

 

 

 

 

For a team that would go on to score nine runs, it’s pretty impressive that this single by Zack Greinke was the hardest-hit ball by an Astros hitter all night with an EV of 105.9. I’m sure Greinke won’t let his teammates live that one down.

An inning later, in the top of the fifth, the Astros won the game. With men on second and third and two outs, A.J. Minter intentionally walked Bregman to load the bases. He then walked Maldonado to drive in the tying run. With the bases still loaded and the pitcher spot coming up, Dusty Baker turned to Marwin Gonzalez, the utilityman who made a name for himself in Houston with his stellar play in 2017 and who has since bounced around between the Twins, Red Sox before returning to Houston.

 

 

It was his first hit since October 3rd and it gave Houston a lead they would not relinquish.

The player of the game in this one was easily Martín Maldonado. Maldonado drove in three runs on the night, with his third being this single to left that added on yet another insurance run for Houston’s bullpen arm barn.

 

 

 

In the top of the eighth, Correa would tack on yet another insurance run, and the game was all but out of hand by this point.

 

 

Finally, on came Kendall Graveman in the eighth and he would go on to finish the game, striking out two while only allowing one baserunner. This was the perfect way to close out a spooky Sunday night of baseball.

 

 

Game 6 is on Tuesday night in Houston. We’ll see you then!

 

Photo by Keith Allison (https://www.flickr.com/photos/keithallison/) | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Ben Brown

Ben is a lifelong resident of the great state of Maine who loves the wild and wacky intricacies of baseball. During the summer months, you'll find him either in the woods at a golf course or floating on the water upta camp, both with a local beer in hand and a game on the radio.

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