World Series Game 6: Atlanta Braves 7-0 Houston Astros – as it happened

Last modified: 03: 56 AM GMT+0

Final thoughts

The World Series MVP is …

Jorge Soler! As predicted! The Cuban native expresses his happiness through his translator and that’s a nice feel-good moment to end this blog.

With MLB heading into an uncertain future – the possibility of an owner-driven lockout looms – so hopefully everybody enjoyed this World Series. Congratulations to the 2021 Atlanta Braves on securing their first championship since 1995!

We’ll have continued World Series coverage here at the Guardian but that will wrap things up for our live coverage. Thanks to all who followed along to today’s blog, particularly those who contributed. Ciao!

Updated

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred is on the stage and, sadly, he does not get loudly booed at the start of the trophy presentation.

Oh never mind, there they are. Good, there are some traditions that we can never get rid of. Manfred hands the trophy to the Atlanta owner to a rather healthy crowd of Braves fans.

Updated

Meanwhile, Dusty Baker has some less enthusiastic commentary from the Houston Astros’ side:

Dusty Baker: “It really hurts but it’s over.”

— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) November 3, 2021

The final out, as called by the Braves broadcasters:

As called on Braves radio: pic.twitter.com/yPa1mnatnc

— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) November 3, 2021

Georgia native Dansby Swanson shouts out the very vocal Braves fans that managed to infiltrate Minute Maid.

Yes, they are doing the Tomahawk Chop right now.

@LengelDavid @HunterFelt Thank you gentlemen - it’s been fun. Now need to catch up on some sleep.

— Tris Kaideka (@Tr1ska1deka) November 3, 2021

Thank you, it has been surprisingly fun even for the many of us who found it impossible to settle on any sort of rooting interest.

As per usual, we’ll stick around here for a spell for the trophy presentation. Honestly, I’m thoroughly curious about who the Atlanta Braves MVP will end up being here. It was such a group effort for them that it feels difficult to single out an individual player.

The Atlanta Braves have defeated the Houston Astros in six games for the first World Series victory since 1995!

Atlanta Braves win the 2021 World Series!

Braves 7-0 Astros, FINAL

Gurriel represents the Astros’ final hope. Smith’s first pitch is a strike. 0-1. Gurriel fouls the next pitch off. 0-2. Astros down to their final strike. Gurriel swings at the next pitch and grounds it out to Swanson who throws to first and the Braves have won the World Series!

Braves 7-0 Astros, Bottom 9th

Alvarez is up next. One on, one out. Alvarez fouls off the first pitch of the at-bat. 0-1. The next pitch is… well it’s a borderline pitch on the corner, called for a ball here. 1-1. Smith’s next pitch just hits the sweet spot Smith was looking for on the previous pitch. 1-2. Alvarez takes a ball low. 2-2. Smith’s next pitch, that’s outside. 3-2. Alvarez hits one sky-high to the outfield and the Astros have a single out remaining here to score seven runs.

The odds feel against them.

Braves 7-0 Astros, Bottom 9th

Correa is up next, with Brantley on first and nobody out. He takes a strike. The next pitch, it’s a quite low strike call. 0-2. Smith’s next pitch, that’s much lower. 1-2. On the next swing, Correa flies out. The Braves are now two outs away from winning the World Series.

Braves 7-0 Astros, Bottom 9th

Brantley takes a ball from Will Smith. 1-0. And then a strike. 1-1. Are those “let’s go Braves” chants at Minute Maid Park? I guess some visitors made the trip to Houston. Brantley fouls off the next pitch. 1-2. He takes a ball. 2-2. The drama here is basically how long the Astros hitters can possibly prolong this thing.

Brantley takes a slider outside and then hits a single to start off the inning.

Braves 7-0 Astros, Bottom 9th

Will Smith (and no, not that one, and I’m sure he’s sick of your references thank you very much) is up to close things out for the Braves.

And now we’re getting “what things were like in 1995” updates. I feel so old.

Braves 7-0 Astros, Top 9th

Eddie Rosario is here with two out and nobody on for Atlanta. He takes strike one. 0-1. He then swings at the next pitch, an easy grounder that will take us to the bottom of the 9th. The Braves are three outs away from winning the 2021 World Series.

Braves 7-0 Astros, Top 9th

Swanson is up here at he falls behind 0-2. Okay, they’re absolutely looking to shorten this game and I, for one, am appreciative of this fact. The next pitch is a curve outside and then Swanson lines out for out two.

Braves 7-0 Astros, Top 9th

Matzek was just absolutely incredibly there. The Astros hitters had no chance. It almost feels unfair that the Braves get one more chance to hit here, but those are the rules. Yimi Garcia is pitching here, facing d’Arnaud who pops one foul straight back and ultimately out of play. 0-1. Garcia’s next pitch is outside 1-1. The next pitch, d’Arnaud pops it up fair for the first out in the top of the ninth.

Braves 7-0 Astros, Bottom 8th

Altuve is up here with two out, nobody on. Matzek strikes him out too and the MLB season is quite likely down to its final inning.

Braves 7-0 Astros, Bottom 8th

Marwin Gonzalez is now the pinch-hitter and he gets ahead of the count 2-0, which feels to be just not a great count for these Houston hitters today. In this case, however, Gonzalez resists swinging at a ball outside. 3-0. He takes a get-me-over automatic strike on the next pitch. 3-1. Gonzalez swings here but just ends up fouling off a high strike. 3-2. On the next pitch, Matzek locates a pitch on the corner for strike three. The Astros have four outs left.

Updated

Braves 7-0 Astros, Bottom 8th

Matzek is back out there to face a pinch-hitting Aledmys Diaz. At this point, Dusty Baker is going to press all of the remaining buttons to press when it comes to his entirely stifled offense. This button doesn’t work as Diaz strikes out looking. The Astros now have five outs left.

Braves 7-0 Astros, Top 8th

Albies is up. I always wonder if when a team gets this big of a lead and is this close to a championship, hitters get a little over-eager… like they’re trying to get through the outs as quickly as possible in order to finish as fast as possible. In any case, the Braves add evidence to this theory as Albies promptly flies out.

Time for Houston to try to get something—anything—going at all.

Braves 7-0 Astros, Top 8th

Joc Pederson, he of the Mysterious Pearl Necklace, is up next and he gets ahead of the count 2-0 before grounding out to first.

Braves 7-0 Astros, Top 8th

Ryan Pressly has entered the game to face Adam Duvall who flies out to the outfield, where there’s almost a collision. Right fielder Brantley is credited for the out.

Braves 7-0 Astros, Bottom 7th

Poor Alex Bregman goes down on three pitches and Houston has just six outs left to play with.

Braves 7-0 Astros, Bottom 7th

Tucker’s up next and he nearly hits a single that takes a foul-ground bounce. It’s a mere strike, putting him down 0-2. Matzek hits triple digits on his next pitch, but it’s too wide. 1-2.

Tucker hits another ball that feels like it should land but Pederson manages to slide and make a tumbling catch for out two.

Braves 7-0 Astros, Bottom 7th

Gurriel, who has power, is up here. Instead, he just flies out harmlessly. That’s the first out of the inning.

Braves 7-0 Astros, Bottom 7th

Tyler Matzek is up here for Atlanta. Alvarez is off to hit. At this point, Houston just has to take it one plate appearance at a time and tell themselves that baseball has no clock. It’s all about outs at this point.

Well, this is a start, Alvarez finally gets his second hit of the season to lead off the inning.

Seventh inning stretch

How about a jazzy instrumental version of “Take Me Out To The Ballgame?” No? Well, you’re getting one anyway.

Braves 7-0 Astros, Top 7th

The bases are still cleared, but only because Freeman has already rounded them. Riley is up next and he falls behind 1-2 but keeps staying alive by fouling off pitch after pitch before working a full count on ball eight. On ball nine, Riley fouls another pitch out of play. Still 3-2.

Fantastic at-bat here, even with this game pretty much out of reach. He, however, gets caught looking on pitch 10. To the seventh-inning stretch!

Home run! (Braves)

Braves 7-0 Astros, Top 7th

Freeman hits a home run and there’s the extra point!

Braves 6-0 Astros, Top 7th

Soler is up and the FOX broadcasters are wondering if he will be the MVP should Atlanta win today. Honestly, I’ve been racking my brains about who would win this trophy and he’s as good as a candidate as anybody.

Stanek gets ahead of him 0-2, not that this means he should let up in the slightest. His next pitch is a ball. 1-2. Soler fouls the next one off. Still, 1-2. Stanek throws a ball and then, the next pitch, he hits a ball to third that really should be extra bases but Bregman makes a fantastic play to keep him off the bases. Two down.

Braves 6-0 Astros, Top 7th

Max Fried is getting congratulations, I think that was his last inning of work. The Braves are going to get their premiere relievers going for the final three innings here. (Or at least they hope that they will be.)

It’s Ryne Stanek in for Maton rather than a starter. I guess that answer’s that question here. He faces Eddie Rosario as the Braves hunt for that extra point. Rosario won’t be part of that question—at least not this time—as he strikes out.

Braves 6-0 Astros, Bottom 6th

Correa works a full count against Fried. The Minute Maid Park is as loud as they’ve been since Soler’s game-changing homer. Correa strikes out… but the ball gets away. D’Arnaud gets it in time and throws it to first to complete the out. The Astros season is down to its last nine innings.

Braves 6-0 Astros, Bottom 6th

Brantley is up next and he falls behind 0-2 right out of the gate. Fried would love a strikeout here or, at the very least, not have to beat him to first base again.

Well, he does. Brantley hits it towards Swanson who makes a spectacular play but can’t quite get it to first on time. Brantley’s on base here with two out.

Braves 6-0 Astros, Bottom 6th

Altuve is up here. Nobody on, one out. The good news is that he cannot ground out into a double play. On 1-2, he takes a pitch that looks like it grazes the top of the strike zone but turns out to be a ball. The next offering is a little off the corner, not by much. Still, it’s a full count for Altuve and if you’re the Braves you might take a home run over a walk here.

The next pitch? Altuve fouls it off. Still a full count. On the next pitch, Altuve pops up to Swanson for the second out of the inning. This is looking all but settled, quite honestly.

Braves 6-0 Astros, Bottom 6th

David Lengel can rest easy, Max Fried is back out there. He’s facing Maldonado, whom he strikes out.

Braves 6-0 Astros, Top 6th

Well, instead Swanson grounds out on a 2-0 count. Perhaps a little overexcited there. To the bottom of the sixth, where the time is now or never for Houston to at least get back into this game.

Braves 6-0 Astros, Top 6th

D’Arnaud swings wildly at Maton’s first offering. 0-1, something which sets the tone for the rest of the at-bat. He strikes out for the second out of the inning. Swanson’s coming up now to see if he can add an exclamation point here to the score.

Braves 6-0 Astros, Top 6th

Albies hits the second single of the inning and the line keeps moving for Atlanta.

Braves 6-0 Astros, Top 6th

Joc Pederson hits a flyball for the first out of the inning.

Braves 6-0 Astros, Top 6th

Maton indeed is back out there for another inning, facing Adam Duvall, who works a full-count before hitting a single between the fielders for another Braves baserunner.

If Snitker takes out Fried after 51 shutout pitches I’m never watching baseball again. @HunterFelt

— David Lengel (@LengelDavid) November 3, 2021

I mean, this feels like it would make it quite difficult to liveblog a possible Game 7.

@HunterFelt Maton will be good for another inning (he’s got some filthy stuff) but has Dusty got a starter he can go to to stem the flow?

— Tris Kaideka (@Tr1ska1deka) November 3, 2021

This is a good question. I’d say anything goes at this point. A more pessimistic liveblogger would say this might be a Titanic deckchairs situation.

Braves 6-0 Astros, Bottom 5th

Oh wow, Fried is going to be going more than five innings here as he gets Jorge Siri to fly out to end things here in the fifth.

Braves 6-0 Astros, Bottom 5th

Nobody on for Bregman, whose struggles will be part of the story for Houston if nothing changes here. Fried gets ahead of him 1-2 before wasting a pitch. 2-2. Maybe not a great idea since he misses with the next one. 3-2. Could Bregman’s luck change this plate appearance?

Nope? He looks at a strike. Bregman doesn’t like the call, but it’s not his decision. Two down.

Braves 6-0 Astros, Bottom 5th

Well, no time like the present for Houston. If they can’t get anything off of Fried here, they’re basically toast. Kyle Tucker is up here and he falls behind 0-2. The next pitch is away, 1-2, and he swings and misses on the next pitch. One down.

Braves 6-0 Astros, Top 5th

Phil “Auto” Maton is up now for Houston—we’re going to see pretty much everybody from Houston it feels like—and he’s facing Austin Riley, who falls behind 0-2. He takes a high pitch that’s not meant to be anywhere near the strike zone and isn’t. 1-2. The next pitch is outside. 2-2. On the next pitch, he flies out to center to finally end a disastrous top of the fifth for the Astros.

Email from Sir Richard Woods:

So what do you think of the possibility that the Braves see this out and then announce the retirement of the “Braves” name, and that gruesome chop, à la the Cleveland Guardians? If ever there seemed a good time to do such a thing, maybe a WS win would be it?

0%. Absolutely 0%.I wish I had a more optimistic answer, but MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has made his voice heard about this.

Run! (Braves)

Braves 6-0 Astros, Top 5th

Now this outcome? This outcome could be better from Houston as Freeman drives in Soler to pad the Braves lead.

That will do it for Blake Taylor.

Braves 5-0 Astros, Top 5th

New Houston pitcher Blake Taylor gets Rosario to ground out and then walks Soler—could be worse outcomes there—which brings up Freddie Freeman with two down.

Houston goes back to the bullpen, in the meanwhile we get emails. From Rev. Ronald Semro:

Good evening, sir. Although I can get the game on local TV, we have a three-and-a-half-year-old grandson for a sleepover tonight, so “Blippi” gets preference over baseball. Grandparenting 101.

I switched over to see the replays of Brantley’s “hit.” Why was he not called out when the pitcher finally touched the base? The runner missed it. I’m uncertain, but is the rule that they have to go tag him after he is past the base? That would make no sense. A guy could intentionally miss the base and take off down the right field line to drag things out! Oh, well, it benefited Houston, so I shall not complain. Besides, I like Brantley. He’s the real deal.

I will check in on your reports from time to time, as the grandson allows.

The Rev. Ron Semro, em.(that’s Latin for emeritus = retired).

The short answer is that he should have been called out and had the Braves reviewed it, he would have been. They didn’t, which looked like a big deal at the time, but so far it’s looking like it’s not going to haunt them.

Two-run home run! (Braves)

Braves 5-0 Astros, Top 5th

Swanson is up with a runner on second and one out. He takes two balls from Javier before swinging and missing at a breaking ball. 2-1. The same series of event repeats on the next pitch. 2-2. He fouls the next off. Still 2-2. On the next pitch…

Oh dear, HE BLASTS ONE OUT. 5-0 Braves! The Astros are in deep, deep trouble.

Dansby Swanson
Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson, right, celebrates his two-run homer against the Astros with third base coach Ron Washington. Photograph: Maria Lysaker/UPI/REX/Shutterstock

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Braves 3-0 Astros, Top 5th

A passed ball leads to the quick Albies easily making it to second, with still nobody on base.

Meanwhile, at the plate, d’Arnaud is looking at a 2-2 count. Looking to at least get the runner to third, he’s seeking contact here. It’s his undoing, after fouling one pitch off, he swings at a four-seam fastball and gets nothing. One out.

Now, this is a fantastic (and relevant) fact:

Fun fact: Jorge Soler once hit a ball so far off me in Omaha that he apologized the next day.

— Rob Zastryzny (@RobZastryzny_8) November 3, 2021

Braves 3-0 Astros, Top 5th

Javier is out there to start the top of the fifth to face Albies, who works a leadoff walk.

Braves 3-0 Astros, Bottom 4th

Never mind, there go the baserunners. Yordan Alvarez hits a ball that bounces on the mound and is easily turned into a double play. Two out, nobody on.

Gurriel grounds out on the very next pitch and that was somehow even faster than a 1-2-3 inning for Fried. He might actually last long enough on the mound to qualify for a win. Starting pitching, what a concept!

Braves 3-0 Astros, Bottom 4th

Fried is still out there, he faces Correa, who hits a flair that drops into no man’s land between the outfielders. Any baserunners will do for Houston right now, so they will take it.

The Soler home run is getting some comparisons to Albert Pujols famously taking Brad Lidge deep and having rewatched them, I can see the resemblance:

We all were thinking it

Jorge Soler reminiscent of the Albert Pujols home run in Houston #WorldSeries pic.twitter.com/1wJePaHr1d

— Tony Clements (@TonyCMKE) November 3, 2021

Braves 3-0 Astros, Top 4th

After a first-pitch ball, Javier throws a slow slider that completely baffles Pederson (and me as well, it looked like a violation of physics). Pederson takes the next two pitches, a strike and then a ball, to even the count at 2-2 before swinging and missing. To the bottom of the fourth!

Braves 3-0 Astros, Top 4th

Adam Duvall hits a glorious foul home run that ends up just being strike tow. Javier has him in a 0-2 hole and, after a pitch outside, he flies out to center.

Braves 3-0 Astros, Top 4th

Christian Javier is now pitching for Houston, facing Austin “Life Of” Riley, who strikes out in about a minute. The tempo has been pretty good this game, he wrote, inevitably jinxing the liveblog for a second time.

Not bad company:

@hunterfelt https://t.co/74qTVmxQy3

— Tris Kaideka (@Tr1ska1deka) November 3, 2021

Braves 3-0 Astros, Bottom 3rd

Brantley grounds one right back to Brantley, who fields it cleanly and turns it into a double play. No rally there for Houston. Three innings in the books and the Braves bats are eager to get back out there to attempt to add to their lead.

Braves 3-0 Astros, Bottom 3rd

Altuve flies out, that’s less ideal for them.

Braves 3-0 Astros, Bottom 3rd

Fried is out there facing Martin Maldonado, who gets a leadoff single. That’s a good start for Houston.

Braves 3-0 Astros, Top 3rd

Brooks Raley gets Freddie Freeman to ground out to douse out the flames. Can the Astros strike back in the bottom of the third is the question now.

And that is what you call going to the well once too often. @HunterFelt

— David Lengel (@LengelDavid) November 3, 2021

One too many offspeed offerings from Garcia and Soler made him pay.

Braves 3-0 Astros, Top 3rd

Yeah, I jinxed it. The Astros go to their bullpen but a lot of damage has been done. If they are going to win this one, it’s going to have to be via the comeback once again.

3-Run Home Run! (Braves)

Braves 3-0 Astros, Top 3rd

Okay, Garcia is not looking as crisp the second time around the order. He throws a ball to Jorge Soler. 1-0. Soler swings and misses at a cutter. 1-1. The next pitch apparently just misses the corner, although not by a whole lot. 2-1. Soler checks his swing, just barely, on the next pitch. It’s 3-1 but Garcia is honestly this close to a strikeout. With the next pitch, Garcia throws a weird looper that’s called a strike. 3-2. The bullpen is up for Houston.

Or not, Soler fouls the next pitch off. And the next. The drama rises and AC/DC’s “Hell’s Bells” briefly fills Minute Maid Park. Still 3-2. Soler swings and…

IT’S GONE! BRAVES TAKE A THREE-RUN LEAD!

Jorge Soler
The Braves’ Jorge Soler circles the bases after hitting a three-run home run during the third inning. Photograph: Eric Gay/AP

Updated

Braves 0-0 Astros, Top 3rd

Rosario is back up with two out and one on. Garcia falls behind him 3-0, and, one strike later, he takes ball four. It’s now two out and two on.

Braves 0-0 Astros, Top 3rd

Dansby Swanson, whose name will always make me hungry for microwaved turkey slices, is up next and he takes a massive swing at a cutter for strike one. On 0-1, Swanson hits a super-long flyball that the park manages to contain. Albies had a great jump but instead, he has to find his way back to first. Two out.

Braves 0-0 Astros, Top 3rd

Albies is at first and the surprisingly dangerous d’Arnaud is up at the plate. He falls behind 1-2 rather quickly and then flies out. Albies has to return to first.

Braves 0-0 Astros, Top 3rd

Ozzie Albies is up for the Braves at the top of the third and he manages to swing at an 0-2 pitch for a single that’s the first Atlanta baserunner of the game. Oh no, I’ve already jinxed this game, haven’t I?

Braves 0-0 Astros, Bottom 2nd

Bregman pops up into foul ground, Joc Pederson just barely has the room to get it. Jorge Siri flies out to end the inning. So maybe we’re going to get that nailbiter that I predicted earlier.

Braves 0-0 Astros, Bottom 2nd

Fried is back up there, his ankle hasn’t acted up while he’s been resting in-between innings. He gets Kyle Tucker to ground out to short for the first out of the inning.

Braves 0-0 Astros, Top 2nd

Joc Pederson is up next and he just pops out. Garcia looks like he can give Dusty Baker a few innings.

Braves 0-0 Astros, Top 2nd

Adam Duvall grounds out to Bregman.

Braves 0-0 Astros, Top 2nd

Garcia is back out there to face Austin Riley after an eventful yet somehow scoreless first inning. He gets Riley to strike out. Just racking up the k’s here.

Braves 0-0 Astros, Bottom 1st

Yuli Gurriel is up next and he falls behind 0-2. Fried’s second pitch is out of the strike zone but it gets called anyways. On the next pitch, Gurriel lays off on what ends up being a strike. That’s three quick outs for Fried, whose ankle looks fine at the moment.

Braves 0-0 Astros, Bottom 1st

Two runners on for Yordan Alvarez who is hitting .063 on the series. It’s only five plus games, but still not great. He chops into a fielder’s choice that moves up the runners but is also the second out of the inning. Win some, lose some.

Braves 0-0 Astros, Bottom 1st

I don’t see how Brantley is safe on that play, but the Braves don’t challenge even though he was called safe before actually landing his foot on the bag. Well, they’re just happy that Fried is still standing somehow and actually gets Carlos Correa to strikeout.

Braves 0-0 Astros, Bottom 1st

Michael Brantley almost grounds out, but he runs over Freeman’s ankle on the way to first base. Both runners are safe but Atlanta is more worried about Fried’s ankle.

That’s a hard error to get.

Braves 0-0 Astros, Bottom 1st

So, let’s see what Max Fried has on short rest. Jose Altuve is starting for the Astros. On a 1-1 pitch, Altuve legs out a single that the infielders do their best to try to catch him on first.

Braves 0-0 Astros, Top 1st

Another 0-2 count for Garcia who makes it a 0-3 count quickly by getting Freddie Freeman to swing and miss. What a ridiculously good start for Garcia and Houston will take it.

Braves 0-0 Astros, Top 1st

Garcia gets Jorge Soler 0-2 count, but then he throws three straight balls. Full count on Soler, who swings and misses on a pitch way underneath the strike zone.

First pitch

Braves 0-0 Astros, Top 1st

Garcia’s first pitch is against Eddie Rosario and it’s a called strike. 0-1. Rosario’s next swing results in a foul ball. 0-2. Rosario hits what looks like it’s going to be a single but Kyle Tucker makes a wild catch in the outfield for the first out of the game.

Updated

Oh hey one more prediction here before we start:

@HunterFelt I had the Braves 4-2 before the start so I’m staying with that. Max Fried to get his A game back

— Richard #FBPE Woods (@gasheadforever) November 3, 2021

Considering the pitching situation, manager Dusty Baker honestly wouldn’t mind having him for three batters at some point today.

Astros Start Nolan Ryan In Game 6 On 10,268 Days’ Rest https://t.co/5PJLVB4Fhs pic.twitter.com/iCEsEqLo8M

— The Onion (@TheOnion) November 3, 2021

UPDATE: The country’s singer’s name was Carly Pearce.

We’re getting some predictions in:

@HunterFelt 10 2 Houston

— Jim Wohlgemuth (@jimwohlgemuth) November 2, 2021

Hmmm, a one-sided slugfest. Well, just speaking as someone who is committed to this game until the very end, I certainly hope it’s a tad more dramatic.

National anthem

Also according to the AP, Minute Maid Park’s roof will be open. The temperature seems, well, temperate: “It was 78 degrees when early batting practice started Tuesday and skies were mostly clear.”

Oh and we have the National Anthem and per tradition, I’ve tuned in just in time to miss the introduction. It’s a female country singer who does a solid job. 8/10.

Game 7 starters?

Jose Urquidy will start for the #Astros for potential Game 7, Dusty Baker says.

— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) November 2, 2021

Um, I feel like this is putting the cart before the horse here, Dusty Baker but you do you.

There has been only one hit for either team in the 9th inning of this World Series: Alex Bregman.

— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) November 2, 2021

Interesting factoid, considering how many big innings there have been this World Series and how poorly Bregman has been producing.

Predictions

I predicted this one would end in six games and I’m keeping with that prediction. Yes, I also predicted that the Astros would win, but let’s not quibble with such minor details as “which team will win the World Series.” Let’s say Houston’s bats go cold again and the Braves win a 3-1 nailbiter.

Agree? Disagree? Send us your predictions here. In case you need a reminder, we’ll be using your emails (send them to hunter.felt.freelance@theguardian.com) or tweets (to @HunterFelt).

So have the ratings for this World Cup gotten any better as it’s gone longer and, theoretically, more competitive Well, a little, but not too much.

2021 World Series finally ticks above 2019 in Games 4 and 5, though still second least-watched ever https://t.co/cwZAvPaiFO pic.twitter.com/mNMhS4rlie

— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) November 2, 2021

Should you really care about this if you don’t happen to work for MLB or FOX? Probably not, but I figure it’s interesting if you happened to be curious about how attractive this series has been for casual fans.

Houston Astros starting lineup

1. Jose Altuve, 2B

2. Michael Brantley, RF

3. Carlos Correa, SS

4. Yordan Alvarez, LF

5. Yuli Gurriel, 1B

6. Kyle Tucker, CF

7. Alex Bregman, 3B

8. Jorge Siri, CF

9. Martin Maldonado, C

Atlanta Braves starting lineup

1. Eddie Rosario, LF

2. Jorge Soler, DH

3. Freddie Freeman, 1B

4. Austin Riley, 3B

5. Adam Duvall, CF

6. Joc Pederson, RF

7. Ozzie Albies, 2B

8. Travis d’Arnaud, C

9. Dansby Swanson, SS

One hitter that we won’t be seeing, according to the AP: “Atlanta Braves infielder/outfielder Ehire Adrianza was placed on the postseason paternity list ahead of World Series Game 6 on Tuesday night and replaced on the active roster by infielder Johan Camargo.” Adrianza is eligible to return for Game 7, should such a thing exist.

R.I.P. Jerry Remy

Like many here in New England, I’m still mourning the loss of former Boston Red Sox second baseman and longtime local broadcaster Jerry Remy. Remy, who had been fighting cancer off-and-on for years, died on Sunday at the age of 68. We actually covered his last public appearance, which was to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at Fenway Park before the Red Sox’s Wild Card game against the New York Yankees. Although clearly ailing, the Massachusetts native must have enjoyed watching his team beat the Yankees one final time.

Although a fine player during his peak, it was through the microphone that he truly secured his legacy in Boston. Beyond just being a great in-game analyst, Remy shined in those slow moments where he was given free rein to vamp. If there’s one clip that will live on for as long as it’s legal to share MLB videos, it will be a little piece of footage entitled “Here Comes The Pizza.” Enjoy.

Preamble

I honestly didn’t think I would have to come to work today. The Atlanta Braves came back to defeat the Houston Astros in Game 4—after Houston had many, many chances to blow the game open in their favor—it looked like they wouldn’t survive past the next game. Yet, because the 2021 World Series has no rhyme or reason to it, the Astros staved off elimination in Game 5 and brought the series back in Houston. The Astros are still in trouble mind you, Atlanta has two chances to win one game and thus their first championship since 1995.

Now, of course, it should be a tad trickier with the Braves now having to win one of those games on the road. They don’t want to rely on needing to win a Game 7 because, as a wise baseballer from ye olden days once put it, in a Game 7, “anything can happen.” The Braves want to wrap it up here and for that purpose, they are bringing Max Fried on the mound while the Astros are starting Luis Garcia.

Of course, this is assuming that the starting pitchers even affect the final outcome, which we’ve learned is very much not the norm this World Series. Given that they are a loss away from elimination, look for the Astros, in particular, to be extremely aggressive in employing their pitching staff: it’s all hands on deck today. There might not be a tomorrow.

As always, we look forward to your contributions throughout today’s game. You can either email us your World Series/baseball related thoughts (to hunter.felt.freelance@theguardian.com) or tweet them at us (to @HunterFelt) and we’ll use them in this liveblog over the course of the next few hours. First pitch is scheduled around 8:09 pm EST but we’ll be back beforehand to set the scene. It’s Game 6 of the World Series between the Atlanta Braves and the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park!

Hunter will be here shortly. In the meantime here’s a look back at Sunday night’s Game 5.

Contributor

Hunter Felt

The GuardianTramp

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