THE ASTROS FIRST GAME in the 2021 World Series got off to a rocky start with Framber Valdez giving up a home run over left field to the leadoff hitter Jorge Soler.
It got the Braves into an early 2-0 lead thanks to an Ozzie Albies single to shallow infield that led to a stolen second base. Austin Riley doubled to deep left-center field to score Albies. It was a lead the Braves wouldn't let go of the entire game
There was a familiar face in Charlie Morton, who helped the Astros win their first World Series in 2017. But it wasn't a reunion the ' Stros were looking forward to, and it wouldn't be a reunion that would last long either.
At the bottom of the first inning with a Yordan Alvarez walk, Morton threw a wild pitch that moved Michael Brantley over to third and Alvarez to second. Morton walked Carlos Correa to load the bases, but Kyle Tucker grounded out to end the inning leaving the bases loaded.
Valdez's struggles on the mound continued in the top of the second giving up singles to Travis d'Arnaud and Joc Pederson. Dansby Swanson knocked one out to deep center field that moved the runners to second and third. D'Adnaud scored, increasing the Braves lead to 3.
In the bottom of the second, Yuli Gurriel hit a 0-1 pitch off of Morton's right leg. Morton retired to the side and didn't seem bothered by the leg, at first.
However, the nightmare continued for Valdez as he gave up a single to Eddie Rosario followed by a line-drive home run by Adam Duvall making it 5-0 Braves. Valdez only got through two innings, giving up eight hits and five runs. Yimi Garcia ended up replacing Valdez.
In the bottom of the third inning, Morton leaves the game after striking out Jose Altuve with a right leg injury. It will be his last time on the mound for the Fall Classic. Morton underwent X-rays that revealed a right fibula fracture ruling him out for the remainder of the World Series. A.J. Minter took over for Morton in the inning.
By that time, the Astros finally got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth with a Kyle Tucker double to right field. Gurriel singled to left field, moving Tucker to third. Chas McCormick reached base on a fielder's choice and a fielding error by Swanson. Tucker gave Astros fans a breath of hope when he scored, cutting the lead 5-1.
The Braves and Astros added another run in the eighth inning. Alvarez tripled to deep center-field and Correa grounded out, helping Alvarez score and cutting the Braves lead to 6-2.
But Will Smith finished the game in the ninth to seal the victory for the Braves.
Not the start the Astros were looking for from the lefty Valdez in Game 1 of the World Series. With the unfortunate right fractured fibula injury to Charlie Morton in the bottom of the third, the Astros were already down 5-0, making it a bit tough to get back into the game.
Brantley went 3 for 4 with two singles and a double. Tucker finished the game 2 for 4 with a single and double. Yordon Alvarez hit a triple making it his second triple this postseason. He's only had one triple in his career.
Jose Urquidy gets the Game 2 start tonight, over Luis Garcia which was a bit of a surprise. Urquidy was one of the best fly ball pitchers in the league, so it could be a chess move by manager Dusty Baker. The Astros need Urquidy to get through at least four to five innings. They can't afford to work their bullpen again in Game 2.
This would be the biggest start in Urquidy's career, and we see what Valdez and Garcia did when they needed to step up. The Astros need a start like that from Urquidy to come back strong.
Losing the first game of the World Series is nothing new for the 'Stros, they're 0-4 all-time in World Series Game 1's.
Game 2 of the World Series starts tonight at 7:09 pm at Minute Maid Park. You can watch on FOX26.