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MLB Playoff Roundup: World Series Game 3

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Atlanta’s pitching was excellent as they took a crucial series lead with a Game 3 win.

MLB: World Series-Houston Astros at Atlanta Braves John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Even though the first two games of the World Series between the Astros and Braves were split, it hasn’t exactly been a memorable series so far. Each team won their game in fairly comfortable fashion and there really weren’t any late-inning dramatics.

Game 3 saw things shift to Atlanta, and the first game there things got interesting. We got a pitcher’s duel with one side take a no-hitter deep into the game. While there weren’t any lead changes, the game went down right to the last out in the first truly interesting battle of this year’s Fall Classic.

What Happened Last Night?

World Series Game 3

Atlanta Braves 2, Houston Astros 0

(Braves lead 2-1)

After both teams missed out on chances, the Braves cashed in and opened the scoring in the third inning. With two on and one out, Austin Riley doubled a home a run to give Atlanta the lead. It seemed like they would do even more damage when Jorge Soler then walked to load the bases with still just one out. However, Luis García rebounded with two huge strikeouts to strand the bases loaded.

Leaving the bases loaded like that and generally missing out on chances has the potential to lead to some big consequences. It didn’t for the Braves as long as they had Ian Anderson on the mound. Anderson gave Atlanta five no-hit innings, walking three. He would be replaced to start the sixth, right as the Astros were set to begin their third time through the order. Anderson was also already at 76 pitches, and even if they did decide to eschew the three times auto-pull, he likely might not have lasted that much longer anyway.

A.J. Minter continued a now combined no-hitter through the sixth, as did Luke Jackson in the seventh. It was broken up in the eighth, and nearly had disastrous consequences.

Aledmys Díaz led off the eighth for Houston with a single that just dropped in between a pair of Braves fielders, with Eddie Rosario arguably messing up what should’ve been a catch opportunity. The defensive miscues got worse as a pinch-running Jose Siri stole second and advanced to third after a Travis d’Arnaud throwing error. Tyler Matzek managed to get out of the dangerous spot and keep Atlanta in front.

In the bottom of the eighth, d’Arnaud atoned for his error and homered to give the Braves some breathing room going into the ninth. Will Smith allowed a leadoff single in the ninth, but got three-straight pop ups after that, giving Atlanta the win and the series lead.

What’s On Deck?

World Series Game 4

Houston Astros at Atlanta Braves

(Zack Greinke vs. TBD)

Time: 8:09 pm ET

TV: FOX

Venue: Truist Park

Both teams will be relying on their bullpen a good amount in a pivotal Game 4.

Even before the Charlie Morton injury, the Braves were already planning on this one being a bullpen game due to other injuries within their rotation. Add in the Morton injury which is going to cause Game 5 to also be some sort of bullpen situation, and needing four innings from them in Game 3, Atlanta is in a bit of an interesting spot.

Dealing with their own rotation issues, Greinke will start Game 4 for the Astros. He’s dealt with injuries this season and has only been used in a bullpen/opener-ish role in these playoffs. His last appearance was in Game 4 of the ALCS, where he allowed two runs on one hit in 1.1 innings. Considering that he’s now only thrown 2.1 innings since the start of the playoffs, it’s unlikely that they’re going to suddenly have him try to go six, so look forward to a battle of the bullpens tonight.