In game 4 Atlanta, who hadn’t played a WS game for 22 years, and who has so far been 6-0 at home in these playoffs, is on the mountain Dylan Lee, a southpaw who made his MLB debut on October 1st, making only 4 appearances as relief, for 4.2 innings total. Become the first pitcher in history to make his first career start in the World Series.
Against him Houston fields as expected Zack Greinke, 3219 innings launched in his career, with a CY and 6 participations in the All Star Game. On paper there is no competition, but we know that both could be short-lived.
In the lineup a change for each side: Snitker changes the right fielder, fielding Pederson in place of Soler, Baker puts the pitcher to beat n. 8, with Maldonado 9. Furthermore Castro, the reserve catcher, injured, is removed from the roster and replaced by Stubbs, another catcher.
The Astros are down 1-2, but they were also down in the ALCS with Boston, when they then won 4-2.
In the first inning Lee is immediately in difficulty: he concedes the hit to Altuve, the bases ball to the left-handed Brantley and Alvarez, putting K Bregman. He then comes out with full bases and 1 out, and Kyle Wright, also all year in triple A, but with 2 starts in the playoffs last year, contains the damage by suffering only an RBI from Correa. Greinke suffers a single and nothing more.
In the second Greinke beats valid! And he is followed by Maldonado, but then they are left behind. Zack on the mount suffers a single as in the first inning.
In the third inning Wright fills the bases and Greinke shows up at the pot (Dusty Baker doesn’t change him, proving to be happy with his work on the mound) but doesn’t produce. As a pitcher he suffers another single.
In the fourth inning Altuve extends 2-0 with an HR, the 23rd in his career in the postseason, becoming the second ever after Manny Ramirez. Greinke suffers a single and nothing more.
In the fifth with 2 on and 2 out it would still be Greinke’s turn, who this time is replaced (therefore he closes with 58 throws, 4H and 3K). Baker’s choice to place him eighth in the lineup backfired, as Maldy would be here and in the third and two inning: either he would produce or at least allow Zack to throw another frame. In his place on the mountain in the lower part Stanek appears, who makes 1-2-3.
In the sixth also Wright is removed, closing with 4.2 IP, 5H, 1R, 75 pitches. In the lower part Raley puts two opponents in base (and the Braves have a man in the point position for the first time in the match), and Maton suffers Riley’s double with RBI, but with 2 K leaves Houston in the lead 2-1.
In the seventh Matzek has no problems, while Javier suffers the HR of Swanson and Soler (who beats as PH) for the first overtaking of this series. Soler’s ball is punctured by Alvarez in the left fielder, where a regular winger would probably have taken it.
In the eighth it is Jackson who has no problems with a 1-2-3 (and here Altuve’s long line in the left fielder is taken very well by Rosario), and in the ninth Smith gains salvation by eliminating the 3 batters (Bregman climbs at 1 out of 14 in these WS, Alvarez last man with the possibility of redemption) for the 3-2 final.
Series on 3-1 for the Braves, one step away from the second title in their history. In Game 5 Houston will field Valdez on the mountain, the Braves will easily use Chavez and / or Smily as an opener / long reliever, although Minter, who was left resting today, remains an option.