ATLANTA — It wasn’t Don Larsen jumping into Yogi Berra’s arms.

It wasn’t Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, or John Smoltz with a dominating World Series performance.

But no matter, Atlanta’s five pitchers combined for a two-hit shutout in a 2-0 victory over the Houston Astros at Truist Park, taking a 2 games to 1 advantage in the World Series.

It was Atlanta’s most dominant outing in a World Series game since Glavine and Mark Wohlers combined for a one-hitter in Game 6 to clinch the 1995 World Series title.

Really, this one could easily have been a no-hitter, the first since Larsen’s in 1956.

When pinch-hitter Aledmys Diz struck a ball that fell in front of Eddie Rosario (left fielder), the Astros ended their no-hit bid. The sellout crowd of 42 898 booed. In the ninth, only one hit was scored by the Astros.

It was the longest no-hitter in a World Series game since Jim Lonborg of Game 2 of the 1967 World Series when he went 7 ⅔ innings.

Tyler Matzek calmly struck Jason Castro, the pinch-hitter, out for the first pitch. Jose Altuve came up to bat for the second. Pinch-runner Jose Siri then stole second base, and advanced to third when catcher Travis d’Arnaud’s throw sailed into center field.

It’s not a problem. Matzek induced a weak pop-up from Michael Brantley, with the ball dropping harmlessly into third baseman Austin Riley’s glove for the third out.

It sucked the life out of the Astros and d’Arnaud iced the game with a two-out homer over the center-field in the bottom of the eighth, sending the crowd screaming into the night.

Atlanta made history on a night when they remembered Hank Aaron and Phil Niekro.

The game began with Ian Anderson, the starter pitching five scoreless innings.

Four relievers were needed to complete the shutout.

GAME 3Atlanta offers Hank Aaron an emotional tribute before the game 

NEAR HISTORYAtlanta pitchers combined for seven hitsless innings up to the blooper

This number is higher than any other World Series pitcher that allowed two hits or less. 

Astros manager Dusty Baker claimed that the team did exactly what was required. “We did not breathe a sigh (when Anderson was released).

Anderson, who is now 4-0 in postseason play with a 1.26 ERA has been the best player of his career. The fourth-lowest ERA during the first eight postsseason startsThis is second only to Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson (99), Orlando Hernandez (1.22), and Cliff Lee (1.26).

Anderson was upset by Atlanta manager Brian Snitker pulling him after five inning of no hits?

“It was fine,” Anderson said. “I have the utmost trust in Snit’ and the bullpen, those guys coming in.”

In eight career starts, he still doesn’t allow more than 2 runs. This is the 4th-most franchise record, after Hall of Famer Smoltz Glavine Maddux and Glavine.

Alex Bregman, third baseman for the Astros said that “he was commanding his pitches.” I give him credit. “He pitched his tail all tonight and we never really got anything offensively going.”

He didn’t even strike the ball very hard in his 76-pitch game.

He issued three walks and a hit-by-pitch, but never got into any trouble.

His teammates and he love the stage.

Gerrit Colle, a youngster of 23 years, beat him in his first major-league appearance. In his five first postseason appearances, he became the first pitcher (since Christy Mathewson in 1905-1911) to allow two earned runs or fewer.

Snitker declared, “He’s been incredible.” The kid, like I mentioned earlier is very mature. However, we did manage to get a lot more three-ball count. Ian deserves the greatest credit for his unwavering determination to pitch pitches. He doesn’t give up. He sticks with what he has. He sticks to the game plan. He will try again if it fails.

Follow Nightengale Twitter: @Bnightengale



Source: USAToday.com

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