Once again that original MLBbro O.G. Dusty Baker stayed level through chaos and his Houston Astros came back to life after giving the Atlanta Braves a dose of reality in Game 5 of the 2021 World Series.
The Astros erased a 4-0 lead after a first inning grand slam brought them to within outs of their season ending, and came from behind to beat the Braves 9-5.
The Stros head back to H-Town with confidence that no lead is insurmountable. Houston still trails the series 3-2, but momentum seems to have returned to the Fabulous Baker Boys.
‘Is Dusty A Magician?’| Fabulous Baker Boys Stave Off World Series Elimination, Win Game 5 In Atlanta and we’ve got live video from https://t.co/DG3CFNUEBb’s @robparkerfs1 and @OctobersOwnTae at Truist Park. pic.twitter.com/nMxUDxGuSt
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) November 1, 2021
Atlanta looks like a fighter who spent a round of taking flurries to gather points but now must pick themselves up off the canvas to win one of their next two games in order to win the championship that was in their grasp for most of Sunday night.
Baker never seemed phased after it appeared the Astros grave had been prepared for burial when Adam Duval launched a first inning grand slam.
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) November 1, 2021
No team had ever come back from giving up a four-run shot in the first inning in history.
The first inning on Halloween was fright night in Atlanta but the O.G. ‘s toothpick swag never wavered.
“I always say, if it’s going to happen, let it happen early,” said Baker. “You don’t want it to happen in the middle of the game or toward the end of the game. The guys came through. That’s what counts.”
Down by four with the tenth man doing their controversial tomahawk chop in the stands, Baker’s deft use of his bullpen kept the game close until the lethal Houston bats woke from the offensive slumber.
Often maligned by pundits who contend he doesn’t manage a bullpen effectively, Baker used his roster masterfully to bring the series back to Minute Maid Park.
Houston struggled with runners in scoring position through the first four games of the series so Baker juggled his lineup and turned what was supposed to be a celebration into the nightmare at Truist Park.
Houston evened the game in the third inning on an RBI double by Carlos Correa (who was moved into the five hole) and a groundout by Yuli Gurriel, who was hitting eighth in the lineup. It was one of three hits for the future free agent.
The Astros have now scored 50 runs this postseason with two out which is second to the 2020 L.A. Dodgers who scored 59.
Now an even greater chess match begins heading into Game 6 because Baker doesn’t have any wiggle room for error.
There are two must-win games left in the series which will test the O.G. ‘s acumen at mixing and matching his bullpen rotation while trying to keep the bats hot with runners in scoring position.