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World Series: Astros’ potent offense has had plenty of chances, but Houston’s bats aren’t coming through

ATLANTA — After a loss during which the bullpen blew a lead after a gutsy outing from an on-his-last-legs Zack Greinke, the Houston Astros are on the cusp of dropping the World Collection. The Atlanta Braves now have a commanding 3-1 lead within the best-of-seven sequence. 

The wrongdoer? The offense is struggling mightily, and if the Houston bats do not get it collectively as quickly as potential, it is over. 

In Sport 1, the high-octane Astros offense scored two runs. They’d site visitors, however they could not full the job. They have been 1 for 9 with runners in scoring place, leaving 9 runners on. 

They did rating seven runs in Sport 2, however look beneath the hood. Of their huge inning — the four-run second — they’d 5 singles and just one was hit exhausting. They hit a bunch of grounders that discovered holes. They nonetheless went 3 for 12 with runners in scoring place and left six runners on base. 

In Sport 3, they have been dominated. They have been shutout. They virtually bought no-hit. They solely hit eight balls exhausting all night time. They did not have a lot site visitors, however they nonetheless managed to go away six runners on base. 

In Saturday’s Sport 4? They let the Braves grasp round till it lastly bit them. Within the first inning, Jose Altuve reached on an infield single after which Michael Brantley walked. Alex Bregman, who’s having a dreadful sequence, then struck out in a weak at-bat. Yordan Alvarez walked, so the bases have been loaded with one out because the Astros chased Braves opener Dylan Lee. Carlos Correa adopted with a gentle grounder that scored one, however the different two runners have been left on. It was a giant win for the Braves to solely enable one run after three of the primary 4 batters reached. 

Within the second, they’d runners on first and second with one out and could not get anybody dwelling. Within the third, they once more had runners on first and second with one out and failed to attain. Altuve homered within the fourth inning, nevertheless it was a solo shot. The Astros then left a runner on third within the fifth. They left one within the sixth. They left one other within the seventh. 

Then got here the Braves’ back-to-back homers to take the lead. 

The Astros went 0 for 8 with runners in scoring place. They left 11 males on base in a one-run loss that pushes their backs towards thee wall. 

The Astros have been the most-prolific offense within the AL in the course of the common season. They flashed heavy offense in each the ALDS and ALCS, and didn’t face elimination this October till now.

They now face a win-or-go-home Sport 5 Sunday night time in Atlanta. And it is as a result of they’ve gone 4 for 32 (.125) with runners in scoring place. They’ve scored 11 runs in 4 video games and have left 32 runners on base. It’s important to credit score the Braves’ pitching and protection for getting out of all these jams, too, after all, however leaving this many runners on is a poor offensive displaying. 

“They are saying good pitching beats good hitting,” mentioned Astros supervisor Dusty Baker. “They have been pitching nice towards us”  

The excellent news for the Astros is hitting with runners in scoring place tells us a narrative of how the sequence bought right here, nevertheless it’s not a predictive stat. That’s to say, it does not imply they’ll be horrible with runners in scoring place in Sport 5, essentially. It simply says that is why they’ve left so many runners on. 

And in reality, getting so many baserunners in Video games 1, 2 and 4 is an effective signal there’s nonetheless a robust offense hiding in there someplace. If it does not come out of hiding for Sport 5, the Braves will seemingly win their first World Collection title since 1995. 



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