For about half and hour last night, it really looked like the season was about to end. With a chance to clinch the series in Game 5, the Braves got off to a perfect start in the first inning thanks to an Adam Duvall grand slam. Four runs is hardly an insurmountable lead, but with the way the Astros had been hitting in the first four games of the series, it seemed like that might’ve been enough, and a champion was going to be crowned. Instead, Houston rallied not only from that deficit but from another, eventually winning, and keeping the season alive for at least one more game. You might even say they rose from the dead in a game played on Halloween night.
What Happened Last Night?
World Series Game 5
(Braves lead series 3-2)
With a chance to clinch a championship, things could not have started much better for Atlanta. They loaded the bases with two outs in the inning, bringing Adam Duvall to the plate. Duvall has struggled in this series, but he delivered the goods this time, hitting a grand slam, giving the Braves a big early lead.
However, it turned out that the Astros weren’t ready for their season to be over yet. Even after Houston scored four-straight runs to even the game, Atlanta retook the lead on a Freddie Freeman home run, and Astros’ starter Framber Valdez exited the game after just 2.2 innings.
Fighting back again, the Astros then scored four runs in a row, including a big, three-run fifth inning, breaking out against a Braves’ bullpen that has held them in check for much of the series. Marwin Gonzalez, who had only been back with the team since August after getting released by Boston, had the biggest hit of the game with a two-RBI single that gave Houston the lead for good.
It also fully became the “Martín Maldonado Game” in the seventh inning when the catcher recorded his third RBI of the game and gave Houston some breathing room. The Astros tacked on another run in the eighth, and that was where the score stayed.
After Valdez exited the game, the Astros’ bullpen threw a combined 6.1 scoreless innings, allowing just four hits and no walks. Houston’s lineup and bullpen came through in their most crucial game of the season, but they still have a lot of work to do if they’re going to pull off the series victory.
What’s On Deck?
Tonight is a travel day as the series shifts back to Houston after the Astros staved off elimination. At time of writing, no pitching matchups have been made completely official for tomorrow night. Before Game 5, it seemed that we were likely to get a rematch of the pitching battle from Game 2 in Max Fried versus José Urquidy. However, the Astros used Urquidy in relief last night in a bid just to stay alive in the series, which makes things a little more interesting. In a postgame interview immediately after the game, Dusty Baker said Luis García on short rest was the likely option as the Astros look to force a Game 7. García went 3.2 solid innings in Game 4 before Atlanta rallied against the Houston bullpen. Meanwhile, Houston’s offense tagged Fried for six runs in their earlier Game 2 meeting.