The pitching and chops dominated the night at Truist Park as Atlanta hosted its first World Series game since 1999, with Game 3 waiting to crown a series lead. Houston and Atlanta had entered the game split at 1-1 in the Fall Classic.
The Braves’ bullpen had an impressive run as they maintained a no-hit bid through eight innings, but the Houston Astros ended those hopes with just two hits on the night — still finishing with a goose egg, 2-0. Atlanta was following up a Game 2 loss where the pitching surrendered seven scores.
On Friday night, Ian Anderson and the clean-up crew were willing: beginning with Anderson’s five innings pitched, where he gave up zero hits before getting pulled by Braves manager Brian Snitker. AJ Minter took the mound after and kept the Astros sluggers missing.
Not until the eighth inning, off a miscommunicated errror between Dansby Swanson and Eddie Rosario, did an Astros batter register a hit. Aledmys Díaz broke the no-hitter deep in the game as expectations of a historic World Series performance filled the scene in Atlanta.
Reliever Tyler Matzek spoke with the press on allowing the first hit that broke the no-hitter — though the pitcher has been lauded more times than not on the post-game podium this October.
“Luke Jackson didn’t know. Minter didn’t know. So then after my inning, they asked me if I knew that was the first hit,” Matzek said, “I said yeah, I did know.”
The Braves mustered two scores for the night to take the win: an RBI double from Austin Riley in the third inning and a solo homer by Travis d’Arnaud in the eighth.
Astros Manager Dusty Baker was solemn over the Game 3 performance, but optimistic that his team will bounce back as they tend to do.
“That was kind of an uneventful night for us,” Baker said. “But invariably when you shut us down, our guys come back the next day and score a bunch, so I hope history repeats itself.”
The Braves host the Astros for Game 4 on Saturday night, starting at 8:09 p.m. (ET).
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela