World Series Game 2: The big story of Game 1 of the World Series was Atlanta Braves pitcher Charlie Morton’s fractured fibula that knocked him out in the third inning and the rest of the contest against the Houston Astros. The top highlight of the game might be the Braves’ ace striking out Jose Altuve looking at a wicked 2-2 curveball, but completing his delivery in pain and leaving the game. The Braves won 6-2.
In the other dugout, the story was the quick exit of Astros starter Framber Valdez, lasting just two-plus innings and allowing five runs and eight hits — the majority of those rockets of 100-plus mph, including home runs to Jorge Soler and Adam Duvall into the Crawford Boxes in left field.
But the biggest big story was the performance of the Atlanta bullpen, allowing just two runs to the potent Astros lineup over the final 6.2 innings. A.J. Minter and Tyler Matzek, coming off their dominating performances in the NLCS, did each allow run, but they also combined to pitch four innings. These are two lefties that have proven they can get more than two or three outs and the takeaway seems clear: If the Astros are going to win this, they’re probably going to have to beat Minter or Matzek at some point. Minter did throw 43 pitches, so Brian Snitker would probably like to stay away from him in Game 2. Matzek threw 20 and he’s told Snitker he can pitch every day, so his rubber arm should be available for Wednesday. Luke Jackson, coming off a rough NLCS, got five big outs between the two lefties, which should be a massive boost to his confidence.
Another thing to watch is the baserunning. We saw Dansby Swanson tag up from third and score on a shallow fly ball to right field and we saw Yuli Gurriel stumble on a slide while failing to stretch a single into a double. Let’s see how team speed factors into the rest of this series. The Astros are a bad baserunning team, or at least a slow one. The Braves took the “extra” base 44% of the time in the regular season, fourth in the majors, while the Astros took it 36% of the time, which tied them with the Yankees and a couple of other teams for 25th through 28th best.