ATLANTA – Here we go again.
On Saturday Night, The Houston Astros blew a 2-0 lead to the Atlanta Braves in dramatic fashion and eventually fell 3-2 at Truist Park.
The victory puts the Atlanta Braves just one win away from their first World Series title since 1995.
As for the Houston Astros head honcho, it’s just more of the same.
The joy of becoming the first Black manager to capture both a National and American League Pennant has quickly subsided, and now Dusty Baker yet again finds himself one game from playoff elimination.
The Astros jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, mainly due to the heroics of Jose Altuve, who was berated with “Cheater” chants every time he stepped in the box. But even with a lead, Houston failed to deliver the kill shot early, which proved to be costly.
Houston was a disastrous 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11 men on base throughout this game. Seven of those 11 men were stranded in the first three innings alone, a mistake that gave Atlanta more than enough time to battle back like they’ve done all season long.
“Usually they do, usually we pick those runners up,” said a disappointed but not defeated Dusty Baker after the game. “We left quite a few runners on base, I think we left 11 runners on base. Then we didn’t have a bunch of chances other than the first four innings.”
The first sign of trouble for the Astros came in the bottom of the 6th, when an Austin Riley single put the Braves on the board to cut their lead in half. Fortunately for Dusty, his bullpen was able to strand two runners on second and third to end the inning.
Unfortunately for Houston, that small spark carried over to the next inning, where the Braves would take the lead once and for all.
Dansby Swanson sent an 0-2 pitch high into the Cobb County sky to tie the game and then 2019 AL home run champ Jorge Soler smoke a 2-1 rocket into the left field bullpen to put the Braves up for good.
GOIN’ BACK TO BACK! 💣💣
Jorge Soler follows up Dansby Swanson’s homer with one of his own!
— Coolbet Canada 🇨🇦 (@CoolbetCanada) October 31, 2021
“Javier has been outstanding,” said Baker when asked about losing pitcher Christian Javier. “He just found too much of the plate on a two strike count to Swanson, and then he hung a breaking ball on the inside to Soler.”
Two mistakes. That’s all it took to push Dusty’s squad to the brink of elimination.
If this is truly his last shot at a World Series title — something that would be considered the crown jewel of an already exquisite baseball resume — those two pitching mistakes by Javier may echo in history forever. Or at least until next season.
But that’s baseball. Dusty’s already exceeded the expectations and executed one of the finest managerial jobs of his career considering all of the external issues he’s had to deal with while winning games on the field.