Houston needs three straight wins

Astros fall behind 3-1 in World Series as Braves complete Game 4 comeback

Astros' Alex Bregman
Despite two early runs, Houston's offense continued to waste chances in World Series Game 4. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Despite two early runs, Houston's offense continued to waste chances in World Series Game 4.

One of the essential qualities of many championship teams is how well they responded when faced with adversity or slumps. The Astros showed that quality in the ALCS, nearly facing a 3-1 series deficit but instead roaring back in Game 4 in Boston to eventually kickstart their dominant finish to win that series in six games.

In World Series Game 4, though, despite going up 2-0 early in the game, the Braves would be the ones with the big response, rallying from behind to grab a late lead and get the victory, putting them ahead 3-1 and pushing Houston to the brink of elimination.

Final Score: Braves 3, Astros 2

World Series (Best of Seven): Atlanta leads 3-1

Winning Pitcher: Tyler Matzek

Losing Pitcher: Cristian Javier

Houston strike first, but leave many stranded

After a frigid night at the plate in Game 3, Houston quickly changed that narrative by getting a hot start to Game 4. As he frequently does, Jose Altuve went after the first pitch, succeeding this time with a single for the first hit of the night. The Astros went on to load the bases with one out, working two walks against Atlanta's opener, Dylan Lee.

Carlos Correa then entered and faced Kyle Wright, driving in Altuve with an RBI groundout. While the run was certainly welcome to the Astros, that kicked off a string of stranded runners as they would go on to strand two in the first, two in the second, and three in the third, making their 1-0 lead seem like it should be exceedingly more.

Greinke goes four scoreless, Altuve doubles the lead

Over that span, Zack Greinke impressed by providing four efficient innings of scoreless pitching, maintaining the lead for his team. He gave up just four hits, a single in each inning, all of which he would erase en route to his shutout appearance.

In the top of the fourth, Altuve doubled the lead, blasting a one-out solo homer 434 feet to center field to extend Houston's advantage to 2-0. After Greinke was done, Ryne Stanek came in as the first reliever for Houston in the bottom of the fifth, retiring the Braves 1-2-3.

Braves rally back to take the lead

Atlanta rallied in the bottom of the sixth, with Brooks Raley coming in initially but giving up a double and a walk while getting an out against the three batters he faced. Phil Maton was next to try and end the threat, but after a strikeout, he allowed a two-out RBI single to make it a one-run game. Houston opted to intentionally walk Joc Pederson next, loading the bases for Travis d'Arnaud, who would go down swinging against Maton to leave Houston with the lead.

Still ahead just 2-1 after a scoreless top half, the Astros moved on to Cristian Javier in the bottom of the seventh. After a strikeout to start the frame, Dansby Swanson would take advantage of a fastball in the zone, driving it out on a game-tying solo homer, making it 2-2. Things went from bad to worse for Houston, as Jorge Soler made it back-to-back homers in the next at-bat, sneaking one over the left-field wall that Yordan Alvarez crashed into trying to make a play, putting the Braves in front.

Astros drop Game 4 and are in dangerous territory

Ryan Pressly would come in against the top of the order at that point to try and stop Atlanta's momentum, and he would get two strikeouts to end the inning. After a 1-2-3 top of the eighth by Atlanta's bullpen, Pressly returned to try and get through the bottom of the inning. He would send the game to the ninth, still separated by just one run despite a leadoff walk and one-out hit batter.

With their 2-3-4 hitters up in the top of the ninth, Houston would get turned away once again by Atlanta's bullpen. The Braves, with the win, take a commanding 3-1 series lead, putting the Astros in a position to win three straight games or disappointingly end their season.

Up Next: World Series Game 5 will have a first pitch time of 7:15 PM Central on Sunday from Truist Park in Atlanta. While the Astros will go back to Framber Valdez to try and rebound from his rough Game 1 start, the Braves are expected to have a bullpen day and have not yet named who will start that off.

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

ESPN Houston 97.5 FM
Kiper has the Texans bolstering their defense in Round 2. Composite Getty, Wiki Commons image.

In Mel Kiper Jr.'s latest two-round mock, he provided insights into potential draft picks and areas of concern for the Texans as they prepare for the upcoming NFL Draft. The Texans currently have two picks in the second round.

When considering the Texans' needs, he selected Illinois defensive tackle Johnny Newton with the No. 42 overall pick and Michigan cornerback Mike Sainristil with the No. 59 pick.

Kiper praised Newton for his exceptional performance as a defensive tackle, noting his impressive 7.5 sacks last season, the most among FBS defensive tackles.

With the departure of Maliek Collins, Newton could fill a crucial void in the Texans' defensive line, providing much-needed pass-rushing ability from the interior.

Another prospect Kiper identified as a potential target for the Texans is Michigan slot cover corner Mike Sainristil.

Kiper hailed Sainristil as the best slot cover corner in the draft, citing his impressive statistics from the previous season, including 6 interceptions, 2 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles. With the Texans' re-signing of veteran corner Desmond King, there is still uncertainty about King's role on the roster, according to Kiper, opening the door for Sainristil to make an impact.

Despite his relatively smaller stature at 5-foot-9, Sainristil's playmaking ability and versatility make him an attractive option for the Texans' secondary. Draft expert Lance Zierlein thinks Sainristil would be a good fit in Houston.

As the draft approaches, all eyes will be on the Texans' front office as they make critical decisions that will shape the future of the franchise.

*AI assisted.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome