World Series Recap – Tuesday, 10/26

A historic Game One featuring long bombs and broken legs

Momentum is critical in baseball.

For example, look no further than what happened this season. The Cardinals steamrolled their way into the playoffs, featuring a massive 17-game win streak from Sept. 11 to 28 before they lost their last series of the year. One Wild Card game later, and they are done in October.

Getting hot at just the right time is important. That’s how the Red Sox — who limped to the regular season finish line — powered their way to a slobberknocker of an ALCS.

This is now the World Series.

What happened in the previous seven months doesn’t matter. Yes, the Astros had the best offense in baseball, and the Braves sat below .500 at the All-Star break and had the worst record of any playoff team. But for Game One, both teams enter with a tabula rasa.

They stand as equals on the scoreboard.

Whoever earns the lead first will have a huge advantage in not only the most important series of the year, but — for most players involved — the most important series of their lives.

Game One came and went. The final score?

 

Braves 6, Astros 2

 

Baseball can be pretty funny.

This Fall Classic is the 117th World Series in baseball history. But no one has ever done what Jorge Soler did in the first plate appearance of Game One.

Four players have hit a Game One leadoff home run in the bottom of the first. But Soler’s powerful blast was the first time it happened in the top half of the inning.

The tone was set. How would the Braves follow up?

By attacking Framber Valdez with ruthless aggression.

A single from Ozzie Albieswho gifted America free tacos by immediately stealing a base — and a 115.8 MPH double from Austin Riley (the hardest hit baseball of the night) gave Atlanta a quick 2 – 0 lead.

The Astros putting together a rally of their own in the bottom of the inning, loading the bases with two outs as arguably their best hitter, Kyle Tucker, stepped up to the plate.

However, the Braves’ defense was on point this game, flashing one web gem after another. One groundout later, and Houston enters the second inning scoreless.

Atlanta continued their assault of Valdez in the second, pouncing on him for back-to-back leadoff singles to give Soler another run-scoring opportunity.

All the while, Charlie Morton clearly ate his Wheaties and canned spinach before his start as he flashed his A game with some dazzling knee-buckling curveballs and piping hot fastballs.

Morton threw three 98+ MPH pitches in the first inning. Across the entire 2021 regular season, Morton reached that velocity just four times.

The third inning played out similarly to the first two innings. Another two runs for Atlanta. This time, thanks to Adam Duvall.

The Braves became the first team in World Series history to score in each of the first three innings of Game One. You can’t really ask for a better start.

That was all she wrote for Valdez, who ended this rough day with a final line of 2 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, and 2 K.

Enter the bottom half of the third. Remember that dirty curve Morton delivered to Altuve in the first? Well, Jose experienced déjà vu all over again with an even nastier K-pitch.

Wait a sec, Morton looked a bit hurt right there…

Turns out he had a broken freakin’ leg.

Yeah… turns out Morton fractured his fibula in the second inning and kept pitching.

How? I… I don’t know. Adrenaline is crazy.

Unfortunately, Morton had to call it quits after that pitch to Altuve, exiting with 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, and 3 K.

Just like that, in the third inning of Game One, it had turned into a battle of the bullpens. Except Atlanta had a five-run cushion to fall back on.

Sure, Houston jumped on the scoreboard after this error by Dansby Swanson

… which had immediately followed this error from Yuli Gurriel in the top half of the inning.

But from that point on, the game became much quieter as stout relief pitching limited both offenses.

The fifth, sixth and seventh flew by as Jake Odorizzi (2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K), A.J. Minter (2.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K), and Luke Jackson (1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K) chopped down some potent bats.

The drama took a brief siesta before coming back full throttle in the eighth inning. A walk from Swanson, another hit from Soler, and a sac fly from Freddie Freeman led to this dynamic play at the plate.

6 – 1 Braves.

But don’t forget the Astros have a gigantic railgun that goes by the name of Yordan Álvarez. One absolute scorcher from the ALCS MVP is all it takes to send the hometown Houston crowd clamoring for more!

Man, it’s times like those that make you wish Tal’s Hill was still around.

That leadoff triple turned into another run on yet another fielder’s choice, this time from Carlos Correa. This Astros offense can explode at a moment’s notice. Could Yuli Gurriel make up for his defensive blunder and cut the lead even more?

On a baseball that was mere inches from leaving the park, Eddie Rosario comes up with the game’s No. 1 Web Gem to cut down Gurriel, who must’ve thought the bases were 85 feet apart with that slide.

Put away that cannon, Rosario. No more need for a gun show after that play!

That play all but wrapped up the game for Atlanta. After a couple of classic nerve-racking pitches from the “Will Smith Experience,” the Braves walked away with a 1 – 0 series lead.

Here’s a little fun fact for you, courtesy of @CespedesBBQ — the last time a hometown crowd got to celebrate a World Series win? That 18-inning bonanza that we call Game Three of the 2018 World Series.

Will Houston be able to bounce back and even up the series before the two teams leave Texas for Georgia?

Tune in to FOX at 8 p.m. EST/5 p.m. tonight to find out.

 

Photo by Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Alex Kleinman

Journalist who loves the Yankees and the Bears. One gives me strength, the other leads me to existential dread. When I'm not obsessing over baseball, you can find me at a concert, hiking in a National Park or chasing my dog, Frankie, who has probably stolen one of my socks.

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