Final thoughts

As we said way back in the preamble, this never felt like it was going to be a short World Series. The Houston Astros and the Atlanta Braves are simply too evenly matched. So, it is no surprise that the Astros evened up the series score today in Game 2. Now, Houston has to win on the road, which is normally a trickier proposition than doing so at your home park.

This marks the end of the Guardian’s live World Series coverage for today but this liveblog will return for Saturday’s Game 4 in Atlanta. Be sure to stick with the Guardian for more news coming out of the World Series between now an then however. Thanks to everybody who followed along with us throughout today’s Game 2, particuarly those who contributed to this liveblog. Ciao!

The Houston Astros have beaten the Atlanta Braves in Game 2 of the 2021 World Series! The series is now evened up at 1-1 and heading to Atlanta for Friday’s Game 3!

Astros win!

Braves 2-7 Astros, FINAL

It’s all down to Swanson, who looks at strike one. He takes a look at a ball and then fouls off the next pitch for Strike 2. The Black Sabbath “Iron Man” riff plays to heighten the drama. 1-2. The next pitch? Another ball. 2-2. Graveman just needs one more pitch to induce the game’s final strikeout and there we have it! The Astros win!

Braves 2-7 Astros, Top 9th

No heroics from d’Arnaud, who grounds out to first. The Astros are an out away from tying up the 2021 World Series.

Braves 2-7 Astros, Top 9th

Kendall Graveman, whose Halloween Twitter name would be Kendall Graveman, is here to finish things up for the Astros. Adam Duvall is up for the Braves. He sees a ball and then swings and misses on pitch two before softly lining out to left for the first out of the ninth.

Braves 2-7 Astros, Bottom 8th

Altuve strikes out looking as well, but I think he’s already done his part to ensure an Astros victory. To the top of the 9th!

Braves 2-7 Astros, Bottom 8th

Maldonado is up next. He strikes out after just four pitches. Maybe the Astros are just looking forward to getting their first win of the World Series out of the way and not putting together solid at-bats.

Updated

Braves 2-7 Astros, Bottom 8th

Kyle Wright is here to pitch the bottom of the 8th, where he will face Siri. Not a lot of pinch-hitting going on in this game which has made recapping it a pleasure (assuming that I didn’t just jinx the whole thing right there).

Wright gets Siri to strike out on three pitches. Next!

Updated

Braves 2-7 Astros, Top 8th

And Pressley gets Pederson to strike out and that’s that. The Astros are going to hit in the bottom of the inning for what they hope with be the final time in Game 2.

Braves 2-7 Astros, Top 8th

Next up is Jorge Soler, who fouls off Pressly’s first pitch and then looks at a ball. 1-1. The next pitch… is a dramatically called strike 2. 1-2. Soler fouls off a pitch.

Soler then hits a mammoth shot that—at first—looks like it would be home run distance (but possibly foul) but it ends up just being a long flyball out. The Braves now have four outs total to deal with.

Braves 2-7 Astros, Top 8th

Once again, Pressly gets ahead of a hitter 0-2 but in this case Riley looks at strike three.

Braves 2-7 Astros, Top 8th

Closer Ryan “El Vez” Pressly is up next to pitch for the Astros, because there’s no use waiting for a save situation when you hit the World Series. He will be facing Albies to start the top of the eighth.

Albies falls into an 0-2 hole but he manages to work a leadoff walk, which might be like the one outcome that Dusty Baker wanted to avoid the most.

Braves 2-7 Astros, Bottom 7th

Gurriel is up with the bases loaded. At this point it’s very obvious that Smyly’s just been up to absorb innings and that Atlanta has given up here. We’re just looking to see what the final margins will be.

In any indication, Smyly takes care of Gurriel in three pitches. That’s the good news. The bad news is that they only have six more outs to piece together five more runs.

Braves 2-7 Astros, Bottom 7th

Is Tucker really back up there already? It’s been like a fast-paced assembly line here. Smyly’s 1-1 offering… is a wild one and on the cross-up between pitcher and catcher, Alvarez takes second. A base hit here means two.

Meanwhile, Tucker is in a 2-1 count after that pitching miscue. The next pitch? Outside. 3-1. Smyly is a pitch away from loading the bases, although I guess that will make the wild pitch irrelevant.

And as foretold, so it goes.

Braves 2-7 Astros, Bottom 7th

One on, runners at first-and-second. Carlos Correa is up here with Houston here eager to pad the score even further. Smyly’s first two cutters to Correa are outside of the zone. 2-0. Correa fouls off the next pitch. 2-1. Correa gives the next pitch a long ride but the stadium contains it.

Brantley makes it to third on the play but the Braves were just happy to get the all-important second out here.

Braves 2-7 Astros, Bottom 7th

One down, Smyly is facing Alvarez now with Brantley still stationed at second and-

He hits him! Just barely, but it’s enough to award him first base.

Braves 2-7 Astros, Bottom 7th

Or maybe not. Smyly immediately gets Bregman out and, well, at this point maybe it’s time for Atlanta to save its bullpen bullets for Game 3

Braves 2-7 Astros, Bottom 7th

Well, let’s see if the veteran Smyly can do better with Brantley.

Nope. Brantley hits a double. Smyly legally has to face at least one more batter before the Braves can lift him (unless there’s an injury). I don’t think he’s going to be seeing a fourth.

Home run! (Astros)

Braves 2-7 Astros, Bottom 7th

Jose Altuve greets Atlanta reliever Drew Smyly with a massive home run. Come on man, FOX had barely returned from break!

Seventh-inning stretch!

One of my favorite liveblogging traditions is to post this at least once per World Series: “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” as played by Frank Zappa.

Braves 2-6 Astros, Top 7th

Freddie Freeman, who may or may not have been named by Stan Lee, is up next. He almost instantly falls behind 0-2. It’s time for Minute Maid Park to get loud and for fans to start waving orange rally-towels. No strikeout this time, but they will gladly take the groundout that ends the inning.

We head to the seventh inning, to the sound of the Grateful Dead’s “Shakedown Street” for no real reason that I can tell. I’m not complaining.

Braves 2-6 Astros, Top 7th

Our new pitcher just so happens to be Phil “Auto” Maton who will be facing the dangerous Rosario. Maton’s first pitch? Outside. 1-0. Second pitch? Fouled away. 1-1. Next pitch? Rosario chases high heat. 1-2. Next pitch? A lazy pop up to the outfield. Rosario’s now 0-for-4, so his postseason hit streak is on the line.

Braves 2-6 Astros, Top 7th

Javier’s now trying to make a microwaved meal out of Swanson. Instead, Swanson shows off some patience, letting Javier fall behind 0-2, working a full count, and then taking a base-on-balls.

And it looks like Dusty Baker is going to the bullpen once more.

Braves 2-6 Astros, Top 7th

Javier is still out there and he’s facing d’Arnaud, who has probably been the biggest thorn in Houston’s side this game. He gets him to… yes, strike out swinging. We weren’t lying about how much modern baseball revolves around the k.

Well, maybe we could have gotten a worse broadcaster than John Smoltz.

Astros known for their hatred of analytics. https://t.co/Y2nCIpUp2S

— David Brown (@AnswerDave) October 28, 2021

Braves 2-6 Astros, Bottom 6th

Jesse Chavez is the new reliever for Atlanta, facing Maldonado with runners on second and third. He can’t worry about them, he has to concentrate on his hitter. He gets him into a 0-2 hole and then induces a pop-up to finally end the inning. We’re heading to the seventh!

Braves 2-6 Astros, Bottom 6th

Jose Siri is now up with a very easy RBI opportunity. He works a full-count against Lee, who still manages to induce a strikeout. Here comes Atlanta manager Brian Snitker to make another bullpen move.

Never mind, they both just pulled off a double-steal. So now, with just one out, there’s runners on second-and-third. Was not expecting that! Neither was Atlanta...

Run! (Astros)

Braves 2-6 Astros, Bottom 6th

Gurriel grounds out into a fielder’s choice, which means that Alvarez scores. The officials have to determine whether or not the Braves fielders got an out on the play. After a quick review, they say no. So, it’s still just one out, with runners on first and second.

Braves 2-5 Astros, Bottom 6th

Kyle Tucker is up against Dylan Lee, the new Atlanta pitcher. Not an ideal spot to appear in the World Series: your team is already down three runs and you’re facing runners on first and second with nobody out. He comes in and gets what’s almost a double-play ball but it rolls just a tad slowly. Runners on the scorners now, with just one out.

Braves 2-5 Astros, Bottom 6th

Fried, however, is still out there for the sixth and he offers a leadoff walk to Yordan Alvarez. That’s probably not going to help his longevity.

Not at all, in fact. Correa singles and that’s going to be the end of his night. It was really just one terrible inning for Fried but... it was bad enough that he would deserve this L should the Braves not mount a comeback.

Email from Kurt Perleberg:

Worst World Series Ever?

Saying this would be 2006 World Champion St Louis Cardinals erasure. We could still get a good series here baseball-wise, after all.

Braves 2-5 Astros, Top 6th

Duvall hasn’t done much this game but he has a great opportunity here. He knows it too as he takes a massive cut on Javier’s first offering. It just puts him in a 0-1 count however. Javier swings and misses again and the crowd rises to will another k. Javier’s next pitch? Ball one. 1-2. Javier shakes off a few pitches and finds the one he wants: an offering that Duvall skies into foul territory for the third out.

If the Astros hold on to even this series up, this inning might just be remembered as the key one.

Braves 2-5 Astros, Top 6th

Pederson is up here with a runner on second and just one out, not a bad RBI chance here. Javier gets him into a 1-2 count, and the Minute Maid Park crowd starts to sniff yet another strikeout. The next pitch is a ball and, on the very next pitch, Pederson pops it up in the air where the centerfielder puts it away for a very important second out.

Braves 2-5 Astros, Top 6th

Okay, that’s different: Soler hits a ringing one-out double. The Braves have a solid chance to chip away with that Houston lead.

Braves 2-5 Astros, Top 6th

Okay I was wrong about the Astros. It’s Christian Javier who will be pitching the top of the sixth, so Urquidy’s day is done. New pitcher, same results: Javier gets Riley to strike out swinging.

Email from Maria Grannell:

Feel free to weigh in on the debate raging in my living room: who has made more inane comments thus far in the broadcast, Buck or Smoltz?

Thx!

Listen, I’m not going to defend Joe Buck but the answer to this question is, as it is every time the two are paired up, Smoltz.

Braves 2-5 Astros, Bottom 5th

Fried and Bregman face each other once again. The announcers note that, despite his key role in getting the Astros’ rally going earlier in this game, he’s still yet to get a hit in this World Series. Well, Fried ups the difficult level here by putting him into a 1-2 hole.

And, wow, there’s another Fried strikeout. We told you this game would be more entertaining than Tuesday’s.

Braves 2-5 Astros, Bottom 5th

Fried is facing Brantley. Hey, impressive that Fried is still in this game after that second inning and it’s doubly impressive that he picks up his fifth strikeout of the game and a key one too here.

Braves 2-5 Astros, Bottom 5th

Jose Altuve grounds out to start the bottom of the fifth.

Email from Iain Macdonald:

Subject: Moral Dilemma

As a fan of the best team in baseball, namely the 107-win Giants, I’ve had a tough time deciding which team I despise the most, the Cheaters or the Choppers.

However, your news that the odious Trump intends to ooze his way into Atlanta (with Herschel in tow?) has changed all that.

Go Astros! Go Dusty!

p.s. Of course, Drumpf would doubtless get an equally rapturous reception in Texas, so I’m back to wishing that both teams could lose.


Again: I don’t have an answer here. The best I have is that I love Astros manager Dusty Baker, but, of course, the Astros explicitly hired Baker in order to get some positive P.R. after the cheating scandal. There’s no ethical consumption in this World Series, it seems.

Braves 2-5 Astros, Top 5th

Some rumblings in the Houston bullpen, but Urquidy isn’t rattled by Freeman’s RBI as he gets Albies to ground out on a single pitch. He’ll probably be out there for the sixth, albeit on a short leash.

Run! (Braves)

Braves 2-5 Astros, Top 5th

Freeman hits a single! The Braves have made this a three-run game, and we have a long way to go here!

Braves 1-5 Astros, Top 5th

Eddie Rosario, who is 0-and-2 and was charged with a key error, is now up here trying to do anything against Urquidy. You’ll never believe it, but Urquidy gets ahead of him rather quickly, putting him in a 1-2 hole but when he tries to waste a pitch offside, the ball bounces away from the catcher for a passed ball. Now there’s a runner in scoring position for Atlanta.

Rosario grounds out, advancing d’Arnaud to third but he can’t score on an out here. Urquidy just has to focus on getting Freeman out here to get out of this clean.

Braves 1-5 Astros, Top 5th

Now comes the delightfully named Dansby Swanson, Suitor In A Forgotten Jane Austen Novel, who falls into a 0-2 count against Urquidy. Again: that’s the key to this game’s pace, the more pitches thrown out of the zone, the longer these at-bats go. Instead, we’re getting lots of at-bats like this one: Swanson is out on three straight pitches.

Braves 1-5 Astros, Top 5th

Okay this game is now going at a little too brisk of a pace. I’m all for that, I’m not getting paid hourly here, but that’s never how baseball goes. I’m going to assume this is the point where the Braves put together something.

If they do, it will start with Travis d’Arnaud, who in fact hits a leadoff single the very second I type his name.

Braves 1-5 Astros, Bottom 4th

Maldonado is up next, but he’s doomed to become Fried’s fourth strikeout victim. He’s clearly adjusted after his disastrous second inning, but the question now is whether or not the Braves can cut into the Houston lead.

Braves 1-5 Astros, Bottom 4th

Jose Siri is back out there and a bit overeager as he swings and misses at Fried’s first two offerings. Down in a 0-2 count, he fouls tNe next pitch off to stay alive. Fried’s next pitch: a bit inside, Siri lays off of it. Not so much the next pitch, however, as Siri strikes out.

Braves 1-5 Astros, Bottom 4th

Max Fried is back out there, we’ll see how long he lasts. Gurriel would rather knock him out right here, one imagines, and he gets ahead of him in the count. 2-1. However, Fried manages to jam him and he harmlessly flies out to left.

A genuinely cool fact:

In the 1st inning of Gm. 2, Max Fried pitched to Alex Bregman, the first time in World Series history two Jews faced each other. This would be meaningful no matter when it happened, but it's especially so on the 3rd anniversary of the attack on the Tree of Life synagogue.

— Susan Bryson (@yazpistachio29) October 28, 2021

Braves 1-5 Astros, Top 4th

I turn my head for a second and I completely miss Duvall’s brief at-bat as he flies out to end the inning. Another 1-2-3 inning for Urquidy.

Braves 1-5 Astros, Top 4th

It’s Joc Pederson, he of pearl necklace fame, and he falls into a 0-2 hole. So, Pederson immediately is in a foul-and-stay-alive position here. He stays alive for exactly three more pitches, and on that third he swings and misses. That’s six k’s for the Astros’ starter.

Braves 1-5 Astros, Top 4th

Hey, we’re in the top of the fourth and both starters are still in the game! I say that this game is already an improvement. Urquidy is facing Jorge Soler to start off this frame, and he actually falls behind here 2-1. That’s been pretty rare for him this game. No worries, he then gets Soler to swing and miss on pitches four and five. That’s out number one of the inning.

Braves 1-5 Astros, Bottom 3rd

Fried gets Correa to ground out quickly and then Tucker pops up. That inning was definitely a very different beast than the previous one. That’s three in the books, with at least six more to go.

Braves 1-5 Astros, Bottom 3rd

Fried is back out there for the bottom of the third. Let’s see how much length he can give Atlanta. Yordan Alvarez is back up there for the Astros. One imagines that they’re not satisfied with the five-run spot they’ve already put up. Fried gets him in a 0-2 hole to start out, eventually completing the strikeout on an unchecked swing.

I may have just screamed “the wrong Avenger died!” at the ad for the upcoming “Hawkeye” show on Disney Plus.

Braves 1-5 Astros, Top 3rd

Austin Riley flies out and that was beautiful: a 1-2-3 inning. Those are going to be rarities this series, it seems.

Braves 1-5 Astros, Top 3rd

Urquidy has a four-run lead, which I’m sure he’s happy about. He quickly gets Freeman to ground out to second and Albies to ground to short.

Braves 1-5 Astros, Bottom 2nd

Finally, Bregman grounds out to end that endless inning but Atlanta is in a heck of an early hole.

Run! (Astros, once again)

Braves 1-5 Astros, Bottom 2nd

Fried gets ahead of Brantley 1-2. It’s just about limiting damage right here for the starter, who probably isn’t long for the game. (No I’m not looking forward to another bullpen-heavy game either, but it is what it is). Brantley takes a semi-close pitch for a called ball. Solid batting eye there. On 2-2, Brantley knocks in Maldonado!

The damage is not limited.

Braves 1-4 Astros, Bottom 2nd

Rosario is given a throwing error for not getting an out on that play. Meanwhile, Houston has already turned their lineup around here and it’s still just one out in the bottom of the second.

Oof, and a wild pitch puts Maldonado on third. The Astros’ aggressiveness on the bases is paying off here, they’re pressuring the Braves into making errors. And they are. However, the Braves get lucky here as Altuve’s liner doesn’t hang up long enough to score the runner for third. So it’s now two down for Michael Brantley.

Runs! (Astros, again)

Braves 1-4 Astros, Bottom 2nd

Martin Maldonado is up with a chance to keep the line moving. He takes a ball, swings and misses, and then knocks in two more runners and the Astros are trying to do to the Braves what they did to them yesterday.

Run! (Astros)

Braves 1-2 Astros, Bottom 2nd

Siri, get me an RBI! He his what looks like will be a run-scoring fielder’s choice but he manages to run it out. It’s an infield single and runners are now on first and second with still just one down.

Braves 1-1 Astros, Bottom 2nd

Yuli Gurriel is up next and he’s immediately down 0-2 in the count. It doesn’t matter for the slugger, as he hits a laser through the Braves’ defensive shift that puts runners on first-and-third with still just one out.

Braves 1-1 Astros, Bottom 2nd

Kyle Tucker is up next and he actually gets ahead of Fried 2-1, it’s a hitter’s count and that’s what he does here: hit. Tucker singles and that’s one on, one out for Houston.

Braves 1-1 Astros, Bottom 2nd

Carlos Correa is hitting for Houston, facing Fried, but only for a short while as he strikes out swinging to start the bottom of the second.

@hunterfelt Interesting umpiring stat. These decisions are worth keeping an eye on. https://t.co/bT4nyOQjgH

— Tris Kaideka (@Tr1ska1deka) October 28, 2021

The chances of the umpires not affecting the outcome of one of these World Series games is approximately 0%.

Braves 1-1 Astros, Top 2nd

Dansby Swanson hits a single but luckily for Houston, Rosario hits a liner to first to end the inning. Still, we’re tied-up already. Something tells me that this is not going to be the last home run of the game.

Home run! (Braves)

Braves 1-1 Astros, Top 2nd

Urquidy gets ahead of Travis d’Arnaud 0-2 but, the eighth-hitting catcher works a full count and then ties up the whole thing with one home run swing. Tied game! Maybe this isn’t going quickly after all.

Updated

Braves 0-1 Astros, Top 2nd

Adam Duvall promptly lines out. Well this is going rather quickly so far.

Braves 0-1 Astros, Top 2nd

Joc Pederson—who wears a pearl necklace for reasons that have yet to be fully explained—is up next. He quickly becomes Urquidy’s fourth strikeout victim.

Braves 0-1 Astros, Bottom 1st

Two down, bases newly empty for Yordan Alvarez who takes two balls and then grounds out.

Run! (Houston Astros)

Braves 0-1 Astros, Bottom 1st

Alex Bregman, who needs to start producing if the Astros are going to win this series, is up next and he actually does some nifty situational hitting to drive in Altuve with a long lazy fly. The Astros have a lead!

Braves 0-0 Astros, Bottom 1st

Michael Brantley hits a long flyball out that certainly looks like multiple bases off the bat. Nope. Still, it gets Altuve to third and there is only one out. Houston has a perfect situation here to take the first lead of the World Series.

Braves 0-0 Astros, Bottom 1st

Max Fried, whose last name is not pronounced as the adjective (alas), is up against Jose Altuve who hits a ringing double that gets everyone at Minute Maid excited.

Email from Kurt Perleberg:

Who will win the most medals in next February’s Beijing Winter Olympics?

Maybe I should have been a tad more specific here: please send in your baseball-related questions for today’s World Series liveblog.

Braves 0-0 Astros, Top 1st

It’s okay, he manages to get Jorge Soler to strike out. That’s three strikeouts, two infield hits, no runs allowed. Not a bad start.

Braves 0-0 Astros, Top 1st

Austin Riley falls behind 0-2 an then makes weak contact that somehow ends up a base hit as he aims it where the fielder’s aren’t. Urquidy is making great pitches, he’s just getting unlucky here. The Braves now have two, two-out baserunners.


Braves 0-0 Astros, top 1st

Ozzie Albies is up net to try to get anything going against Urquidy. He falls behind, but somehow manages to get on first on a slowly-hit, swinging bunt. So we have our first Braves baserunner.

Braves 0-0 Astros, top 1st

Freddie Freeman, the alliterative wonder, is up next. He works a full count, but eventually he also strikes out. A better start for Houston pitching than yesterday.

First pitch

Braves 0-0 Astros, top 1st

Jose Urquidy’s first pitch is swung at by Rosario, who also swings at pitch 2. So, the Braves leadoff man is already down 0-2 against Urquidy. He manages to foul off a few more offerings before striking out.


The roof is open at Minute Maid Park, because the Astros generally perform better out in the open air. They’re looking for every edge they can get to even out this series.

Ooh, the actual game is about to start now!

Joe Buck and John Smoltz are tonight’s broadcasters. “Jeopardy”’s gain is our loss.

Updated

National anthem

Alright, I missed the name of today’s singer by not switching to the pregame fast enough but she gives a fantastic rendition. 9/10.

Speaking of the Tomahawk Chop, our ex-president has never stumbled upon a cultural war he didn’t want to exploit so this is not shocking:

Donald Trump to attend Game 4 of World Series in Atlanta https://t.co/rpMkPzK0GM

— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) October 27, 2021

The Tomahawk Chop Controversy

If you were expecting the league or networks to de-emphasize the Tomahawk Chop went the series shifts to Atlanta well… MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred seems very intent on preserving it. It seems like an odd decision until you realize that Manfred being in favor of anything that makes games potentially more unwatchable is very much on track for him.

Predictions

Listen, nothing about this series suggests that it won’t expand to take up as much time as possible. If you combine that with the fact that if the Braves win today they will start this series with a 2-0 lead before heading back home with a chance to clinch…

If that happens, it becomes increasingly doubtful that this series will go much beyond the minimum. So, I am saying that the Astros win today in an actually somewhat dramatic fashion. Maybe a 6-7 win with the two teams pinballing back and forth until the final inning. I’m ready for a white-knuckle save, at least. This one is going at least six games, I think.

Maybe this is wishful thinking. If you have your own opinion, feel free to chime in. As mentioned earlier, you can either email Hunter.Felt.Freelance@theguardian.com or tweet @HunterFelt.

Houston Astros starting lineup

1. Jose Altuve, 2B

2. Michael Brantley, LF

3. Alex Bregman, 3B

4. Yordan Alvarez, DH

5. Carlos Correa, SS

6. Kyle Tucker, RF

7. Yuli Gurriel, 1B

8. Jose Siri, CF

9. Martin Maldonado, C

RHP Jose Urquidy

Atlanta Braves starting lineup

1. Eddie Rosario, LF

2. Freddie Freeman, 1B

3. Ozzie Albies, 2B

4. Austin Riley, 3B

5. Jorge Soler, DH

6. Joc Pederson, RF

7. Adam Duvall, CF

8. Travis d’Arnaud, C

9. Dansby Swanson, SS

Starting pitcher; Max Fried, LHP

Email from Roger Kirkby:

Subject line; Some baseball humour with a lot of swearing.

Hi Hunter, here’s Lewis Black’s take on baseball, very sweary, but funny.

I don’t have time to watch this, but I have fond memories of Lewis Black back in the golden era of “The Daily Show” so I will trust you on this one.

I am not going to suggest that this is going to be on par with Charlie Morton pitching through a broken leg, but I will say that I am going to be blogging through a horrifically chipped tooth.

Granted, this is more of a hockey-style injury but I do just want to make the statement that the willingness to play through injury isn’t just a trait found in athletes. (My roommates call this “stubborness” on my part, but we can quibble about definitions later.)

Preamble

Hello, welcome all to Game 2 of the World Series between the Atlanta Braves and the Houston Astros…

Wait, wait, come back! We promise that things will get more interesting from here if solely because there’s nowhere to go but up after a Game 1 snoozefest that couldn’t have satisfied anybody but Braves fans.

10.8 million viewers for World Series Game 1 last night, the lowest non-neutral site number for a Series opener.

— Eric Fisher (@EricFisherSBG) October 27, 2021

It’s never great when the most notable highlight of your game is a starting pitcher attempting to battle through a fractured fibula. Game 1 starter Charlie Morton actually was recording outs before his body fully registered the seriousness of his injury and he had to be lifted. He is now out for the remainder of the series, a huge blow for Atlanta in what otherwise would have been a perfect evening.

RHP Charlie Morton underwent X-rays tonight that revealed a right fibula fracture. He will miss the remainder of the World Series and is expected to be ready for Spring Training in 2022.

— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) October 27, 2021

In fact, it felt like the game was decided in Atlanta’s favor after the Braves took a 5-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth. This, unfortunately, made the subsequent 2 ½ hours feel entirely unnecessary. Despite a few brief flashes of a potential Houston comeback, the game puttered on slowly without much drama until the end of regulation, where the Braves held on to a 6-2 final score.

If you’re still on the fence about who to root for here considering that this is a battle between two of MLB’s most problematic teams... well, I’m afraid I can’t help you there. As your official baseball chronicler today, I’m just rooting for a fast-paced, interesting game. Heck, even super-long playoff games can be fun as heck when there’s drama.

It is our hope that this starts today as the Astros attempt to even out this World Series at 1-1. If you want to contribute to the liveblog, send us your comments, questions, predictions and so forth and we’ll include them throughout these next few hours. If you’re on Twitter you can send them to @HunterFelt and if not (this is very understandable) just email us at Hunter.Felt.Freelance@theguardian.com.

It’s Game 2 of the 2021 World Series between the Atlanta Braves and the Houston Astros at Houston’s Minute Maid Park. First pitch is scheduled at 8:09 pm EST, but we’ll be back well before then.

Hunter will be here shortly. In the meantime, here’s how Game 1 went down:

A healthy swing by Jorge Soler powered the Atlanta Braves to a smashing start in the World Series.

Making his first start since testing positive for Covid-19, Soler became the first player to begin a World Series with a home run and the Braves, despite the loss of pitcher Charlie Morton to a broken leg, hushed the Houston Astros 6-2 Tuesday night in Game 1.

Boosted by a strong bullpen effort, a two-run homer by Adam Duvall and a late sacrifice fly from Freddie Freeman, the Braves coasted in their first Series appearance since Chipper Jones and their Big Three aces ascended in 1999.

Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and the Astros mostly looked lost at the plate. This is their third World Series in five seasons – and first since their illegal sign-stealing scheme was revealed.

Contributor

Hunter Felt

The GuardianTramp

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World Series Game 4: Houston Astros 2-3 Atlanta Braves – as it happened
Rolling report: The Braves took a three-games-to-one stranglehold on the World Series with a 3-2 win over the Astros in Game 4 at Truist Park

Hunter Felt

31, Oct, 2021 @4:14 AM

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World Series Game 6: Atlanta Braves 7-0 Houston Astros – as it happened
Rolling report: The Braves closed out the World Series with a 7-0 shutout of the Astros in Game 6 at Minute Maid Park to clinch their first title since 1995

Hunter Felt

03, Nov, 2021 @3:56 AM

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World Series Game 1: Atlanta Braves 6-2 Houston Astros – as it happened!
Inning-by-inning report: The Atlanta Braves defeated the Astros 6-2 in Houston to take a one-game-to-none lead in the World Series

David Lengel

27, Oct, 2021 @4:22 AM

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World Series Game 5: Houston Astros 9-5 Atlanta Braves – as it happened
Inning-by-inning report: The Astros kept themselves alive in the series after coming back from 4-0 to win with ease

David Lengel

01, Nov, 2021 @4:20 AM

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Donald Trump chops with Atlanta Braves fans before World Series game
Only months after calling for a boycott of MLB, Donald Trump did the tomahawk chop with Atlanta Braves fans at the World Series on Saturday

Bryan Armen Graham and agencies

31, Oct, 2021 @4:01 AM

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The Atlanta Braves’ World Series victory was built on a summer of desperation
The Braves left behind in a reputation as perennial underachievers in seeing off the Houston Astros to win the fourth championship in the club’s 146-year history

Tom Dart at Minute Maid Park in Houston

03, Nov, 2021 @11:42 AM

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World Series Game 2: Washington Nationals 12 Houston Astros 3 - as it happened
Inning-by-inning report: The Washington Nationals defeated the Houston Astros 12-3 in a dominating performance in Game 2 of the 2019 World Series

David Lengel

24, Oct, 2019 @4:14 AM

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World Series Game 4: Houston Astros 8-1 Washington Nationals – as it happened
Inning-by-inning report: The 2017 champions pulled off victory to level the series in DC

Hunter Felt

27, Oct, 2019 @4:10 AM

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World Series Game 5: Houston Astros 7-1 Washington Nationals – as it happened!
Inning-by-inning report: The Astros are just one win from taking their second title in three years after victory on Sunday night in Washington DC

David Lengel

28, Oct, 2019 @3:33 AM

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World Series Game 6: Washington Nationals 7-2 Houston Astros – as it happened
Inning-by-inning report: The Washington Nationals defeat the Houston Astros to force a decisive Game 7

Hunter Felt

30, Oct, 2019 @4:55 AM