World Series Game 2 FAQ (LIVE on FOX)

October 27th, 2021

HOUSTON -- The Braves completely overpowered the Astros in Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday night, and that’s no easy thing to do. Now it’s Houston that has the tall task of overcoming a 1-0 deficit in this best-of-seven.

That might not sound like much, but only five of the 26 teams that have dropped Game 1 of the Fall Classic in the Wild Card era (dating to 1995) have gone on to win it. So Houston’s Game 2 starter, , has to give the Astros better than what they received from Framber Valdez in the opener.

“Our team doesn't worry, and our team's very confident,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said. “We have the knack of bouncing back after losses, after tough losses, because they don't quit, they don't give up, they don't get down. That's the secret of sports.”

Even with the early edge, there’s palpable pressure on the Braves’ Game 2 starter, lefty . To get the Game 1 victory in the wake of Charlie Morton’s third-inning exit with a fractured right fibula, Atlanta needed eight outs from A.J. Minter, five from Luke Jackson, four from Tyler Matzek and the final three from closer Will Smith -- a big lift that will have a big impact on how manager Brian Snitker deploys his ‘pen in Game 2. So the Braves, in all likelihood, are going to need innings from Fried, who had a 1.47 ERA from Aug. 3 through his Game 1 outing against the Dodgers in the National League Championship Series but struggled in Game 5 of that series.

“[The Astros] take really good at-bats,” Fried said. “They're going to make you throw strikes. They're not going to chase a ton. They've obviously been here. They've been in the moment. They've played a lot of playoff games.”

Game 1 of this World Series was dominated by Atlanta. And yet, in these unusual circumstances, we’re curious to see how both clubs respond in Game 2.

When is the game and how can I watch it?
Game 2 is scheduled for Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET/7 CT and will be broadcast on FOX. It is also available to stream on MLB.TV with authentication.

What are the starting lineups?
Braves: With the Astros starting a right-hander, Eddie Rosario is back in the leadoff spot. Jorge Soler will serve as the designated hitter again, but out of the five hole. After tonight, the Braves will have to decide whether to have him play in place of Joc Pederson or Adam Duvall when the Series shifts to Atlanta for Games 3, 4 and 5 (if necessary).

Astros: They were fourth in the Major Leagues in OPS (.788) against left-handed pitchers in the regular season. The Astros made one change from their Game 1 lineup, opting for Jose Siri over Chas McCormick in center field.

Who are the starting pitchers?
Braves: Fried produced an MLB-best 1.74 ERA after the All-Star break and allowed just two runs through his first 12 innings of this postseason. The left-hander surrendered two homers and allowed five runs over 4 2/3 innings in Game 5 of the NLCS against the Dodgers. It appeared he was rushing his delivery and missing his spots like he did during the first few weeks of the regular season.

Fried will need to better harness his emotions as he makes his first career World Series start.

“From the time that I started playing, you dream about playing in the World Series,” Fried said. “But at the end of the day, you have to know what got you here. I've got a lot of really good guys that are going to be able to be there and support me. So I’ll just focus on executing pitches."

Astros: Urquidy will be making his second World Series start, with the first coming in 2019 when he threw five scoreless innings in a breakout performance in Game 4 against the Nationals. His lone playoff start this year was in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series against the Red Sox when he gave up six runs (five earned) and five hits in 1 2/3 innings at Fenway Park. The Astros will need him to pitch deeper into Wednesday’s game after Valdez recorded only six outs in Game 1. Urquidy went 8-3 with a 3.62 ERA in 20 regular-season starts.

How will the bullpens line up after the starter?
Braves: With Morton recording just seven outs, the bullpen was heavily taxed Tuesday. Minter may be unavailable after he threw 43 pitches over 2 2/3 innings. The Braves also might be cautious with both Jackson and Matzek, both of whom worked more than one inning in Game 1. Chris Martin and Jesse Chavez might be asked to get some outs in high-leverage situations during Game 2.

Astros: If Urquidy doesn’t work deep into Game 2, Cristian Javier will be the lone long-relief option after Jake Odorizzi threw 42 pitches over 2 1/3 innings in Game 1. Yimi García (19 pitches), Phil Maton (22) and Ryne Stanek (20) weren’t overextended in Game 1 and should be available for Game 2. The Astros’ best two relievers -- setup man Kendall Graveman and closer Ryan Pressly -- will almost certainly pitch at some point in Game 2.

Are there any relievers who are unavailable?
Braves: It seems unlikely Minter will be used unless absolutely necessary.

Astros: Odorizzi is out after his long outing in Game 1.

Any injuries of note?
Braves: Morton fractured his right fibula during Tuesday’s Game 1 and will miss the remainder of the Fall Classic. So, too, will Huascar Ynoa, who was removed from the NLCS roster with right shoulder inflammation.

Astros: None.

Who is hot and who is not?
Braves: Rosario has hit .465 with a 1.278 OPS this postseason. He has recorded a multihit performance in four straight games. Freeman has a 1.044 OPS through 11 playoff games. d’Arnaud has struck out in 15 of 35 at-bats during the playoffs.

Astros: Alvarez, who was 12-for-23 en route to being named the MVP of the ALCS, tripled and scored in Game 1 of the World Series and has hit safely in seven consecutive playoff games. Then there’s Tucker, who’s hit safely in nine of 11 playoff games this year, including a pair of hits in Game 1 of the Fall Classic. Brantley is hitting .340 in the postseason with a pair of three-hit games, including Game 1. Altuve is 3-for-29 since the start of the ALCS, and Bregman is 3-for-19 in his last five games.

Anything else fans might want to know?
• Teams scoring first this postseason have won 25 of the 32 games.

• Tucker’s 30 career postseason hits are tied with Yadier Molina for eighth most all-time prior to turning 25 years old. Hall of Famer Derek Jeter holds the MLB playoff record with 41 hits before his 25th birthday.

• Albies is riding an eight-game streak with at least one hit and one run scored dating back to Game 4 of the NL Division Series. That is tied for the third-longest streak in MLB postseason history, as well as tied for the longest in franchise history with Fred McGriff (1995).

• Soler became the 11th Cuban-born player in World Series history to homer, joining Alvarez, Sandy Amoros, Randy Arozarena, Bert Campaneris, Jose Canseco, Gurriel, Tony Oliva, Hall of Famer Tony Pérez, Yasiel Puig and Zoilo Versalles.