''Pressure Still On'' For Astros Despite Forcing Game 6 In World Series

The Braves have a 3-2 lead heading back to Houston
11:47, 02 Nov 2021

Dusty Baker says the pressure is still on his Houston Astros going into Tuesday night’s Game Six despite keeping the World Series alive with a 9-5 win on Sunday.

The Astros looked to be heading for elimination when Adam Duvall’s grand slam, the first first-inning salami in a World Series game since 1960, gave the Atlanta Braves an early 4-0 lead at Truist Park. But the Astros fought back twice, with pinch-hitter Marwin Gonzalez delivering the key two-out, two-run single in the fifth.

That comeback meant that Houston became the first team since the 1919 Chicago White Sox – they of the infamous ‘Black Sox’ scandal – to recover from a four-run deficit in a World Series elimination game. They are now 2/1 to win the series with Betfred, while the Braves remain 2/5 favourites.

And while Astros skipper Baker is relieved to get his side back home to Houston with a chance of pulling off an unlikely series victory, he concedes that the American League champions are still outsiders thanks to their 3-2 deficit.

“The pressure is still on us because they’ve got the lead,” the former Giants, Cubs, Reds and Nationals manager told reporters. “They only have to win one and we have to win two. But the fact is we are going home, we didn’t want to end here with the celebrations in Atlanta, we wanted to go home and to give us the chance to win with our fans.

“This team has a very strong mind, they’re strong willed, dealing with adversity, dealing with booing, and with the amount of negative energy that was cast our way throughout the year.”

The Astros will have to contend with an overworked bullpen if they are to win Games Six and Seven to clinch the series, with Tuesday’s scheduled starter Jose Urquidy having pitched an inning of relief on Sunday due to the backs-to-the-wall nature of their predicament.

Baker could well call upon the Mexican still, with his 14-pitch appearance coming instead of what might otherwise have been a side session. The Astros’ bullpen has so far thrown 25.2 of the 43 total innings in the series, leaving the skipper with few other options.

Atlanta will give the ball to Max Fried, who lost Game Two against Urquidy, allowing six runs off seven hits in five innings. Following the fractured fibula suffered by Charlie Morton in Game One, only Fried and Ian Anderson remain as recognised senior starters after manager Brian Snitker opted for bullpen days led by rookies Dylan Lee and Tucker Davidson in Games Four and Five.

A Houston win on Tuesday would set up a decider on Wednesday, while victory for the Braves would take the World Series title back to Atlanta for the first time since the ‘Team of the Nineties’ beat Cleveland over six games in 1995.

World Series So Far:

Game 1: Atlanta 6, Houston 2

Game 2: Atlanta 2, Houston 6

Game 3: Houston 0, Atlanta 2

Game 4: Houston 2, Atlanta 3

Game 5: Houston 9, Atlanta 5

Game 6: Tuesday night, 00:09 GMT in Houston

Game 7: Wednesday night, 00:09 GMT in Houston (if necessary)

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