Houston could not get anything going offensively

Astros shutout by Braves as Atlanta takes World Series Game 3 and a 2-1 series lead

With Houston's offense unable to get on the board in World Series Game 3, Luis Garcia's short one-run night was enough to earn him the loss against the Braves. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Home games bring with them an intangible advantage in sports. It's why in an otherwise perfectly even matchup, the home team will be favored. In the playoffs, that's amplified, especially in the first game of the series at a given stadium. Atlanta overcame that headwind in Game 1 in Houston, stealing the energy from Minute Maid Park with a lopsided victory on the road. In Game 3, the Astros hoped to return the favor at Truist Park in Atlanta.

Instead, they would do little to deter the home crowd's excitement throughout the night, having an abysmal night at the plate to waste a decent outing by their pitching. Meanwhile, the Braves flirted with a no-hitter while grabbing the victory to take the 2-1 series lead over Houston.

Final Score: Braves 2, Astros 0

World Series (Best of Seven): Atlanta leads 2-1

Winning Pitcher: Ian Anderson

Losing Pitcher: Luis Garcia

Garcia's rough command results in early exit

After both pitchers kept the opposition off the board in the first two innings, the Braves struck first off of Luis Garcia in the bottom of the third. He issued a leadoff walk to start the threat, with a single to follow, putting a runner in scoring position. After a strikeout for the first out, Atlanta would get an RBI double by Austin Riley to take a 1-0 lead. Garcia went on to load the bases with another walk but escaped the jam with just the one run allowed.

With the first three innings taking him 70 pitches to get through, Garcia entered the bottom of the fourth with a short leash. That became evident as, after two outs on two pitches, Dusty Baker popped out of the dugout to make a move to Blake Taylor for a left-on-left matchup to wrap up the inning, ending the night for Houston's starter with just three and two-thirds innings in the books.

Atlanta takes a no-hitter to the eighth

Meanwhile, Atlanta was getting a no-hitter from Ian Anderson. Despite three walks and a hit batter over the first four innings, he didn't allow a hit or a runner past second base in that span. Anderson retired Houston 1-2-3 in the top of the fifth, and in the bottom half, Yimi Garcia took over out of the Astros' bullpen. He kept the game separated by one run, getting through the inning by erasing a walk and a single. He returned in the bottom of the sixth, getting two outs before another pitching change brought in Brooks Raley, who got the third out.

Still seeking their first hit of the game, Houston had no luck against Atlanta's first reliever in the top of the sixth, nor did they get anything going in the top of the seventh. A pinch-hitting Aledmys Diaz ended the no-hit bid in the top of the eighth, leading the frame off with a bloop single before being pinch-ran for by Jose Siri. After two outs, Siri would take off to steal second, inducing a throwing error that allowed him to advance to third and put him 90 feet away from tying the game. He'd get left there, though, as Atlanta held the one-run lead.

Astros drop Game 3

In the bottom of the eighth, Kendall Graveman came in as Houston's six arm of the night, trying to match those before him in keeping the game close. After two quick outs, though, Travis d'Arnaud would double Atlanta's lead with a 437-foot homer to center, making it 2-0 before Graveman would end the inning. Although Alex Bregman would start the top of the ninth with a leadoff single, the next three batters would go down in order, giving the Braves a one-game advantage in the series heading to Game 4.

Up Next: The second of three games in Atlanta will be another 7:09 PM Central start for Game 4 on Saturday. Neither manager has announced their team's starter yet, though Dusty Baker has stated that it will likely be Zack Greinke for the Astros.

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Jae'Sean Tate had himself a night. Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images.

No Christian Wood. No Kevin Porter Jr. No Jalen Green. No problem. Jae’ Sean Tate became a complete superhero for the Houston Rockets versus the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night.

He recorded 32 points, 10 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 5.0 blocks, and 2.0 steals and shot 73 percent from the field. With that stat line, he joined former Rocket Hakeem Olajuwon and other historic big men from the past, which Tim MacMahon reported.

Tate is known for his leadership and the ability to be humble. When a reporter asked Tate about the stat line, he said, “How many turnovers? Nah, 25 assists, that’s what sup! Can’t be mad at that.” An expression like that shows the importance of putting his teammates first before taking all the shine. Tate is providing more passion with communication and being the rock that the "Baby Rockets" can lean on.

Coach Silas' confidence in Tate is something built from last year and it shows. Those two have constant dialogue throughout the game, and it’s seen before the huddle or when Silas is standing on the sideline before he calls a play. Silas has run consistent sets for Tate, as he did that within the 15-game losing streak. He dialed up an out of bounds action with 33.4 seconds left, so Tate could make a clutch layup towards the rim.

“Long, long, long ago in his rookie year…we definitely have a bond and with those two guys out, we needed some scoring,” Silas said. “He was the guy who was playing the hardest from start to finish and down the stretch we ran that elbow iso for him. And he just went through his defender and finished. And he made some huge plays in the 4th quarter, which is what you need. Yeah, I trust him as much as anybody else, and he has earned that, and he deserves it.”

“That just shows the confidence Coach Silas, and my teammates have in me,” said Tate. “We lost some of our primary guys tonight. And not only me, but everybody also stepped up.”

His usage rating is slowly going up, which is posted at 18.9 percent per NBA stats. In isolation, Tate is averaging 1.00 points per possession, which puts him in the 75th percentile(!) per NBA stats. Tate is seeing more action out of the corner, so it can allow him to get to his left hand on offense. The elbow iso action is a play that Tate has run since high school, college, overseas, and in the NBA now. He mentioned that the set allows him to get comfortable when his number is called.

“That’s not my primary role and I think everyone knows that,” Tate said. “I am very confident [in] what I bring to the table offensively. Not only scoring wise but seeing the floor and being able to make [a] decision in space. And that kind of helps me when they overlook the scouting report.”

“[I've] been running that play since I was [in] high school. At Ohio St. I ran that. Even when I was overseas, Will Weaver, that was a play he put in. To have that called tonight, it felt familiar and it’s one of my strengths. And playing in the mid-post area and getting to my left hand.”

Tate was excellent for the Rockets on both sides of the ball, as he had a 116.9 offensive and 108.5 defensive rating with an 82.5 percent in true shooting versus the Thunder. Hopefully, Tate can be the leading catalyst again, as the Rockets face the Orlando Magic and New Orleans Pelicans, which are winnable games. It should become a six-game winning streak, as John Wall might play if his condition is right.

Up next: The Rockets face the Orlando Magic on Friday night.

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