Dylan Lee had two innings of major league experience. In that extensive big-league career, he had given up three hits and two runs. His ERA was 9.00.
For some odd reason, that pedigree earned him the start in Game 4 of the World Series.
Atlanta’s manager Brian Snitker played with fire and almost got torched.
Lee allowed a single to Altuve, walked Brantley, struck out Bregman, then walked Alvarez to load the bases. Then he was removed from the game.
This Astros offense that has been known to score in bunches and bury teams with big innings was primed to do just that.
But the Braves wiggled out of it somehow, allowing only one run.
Houston got two on in the second and didn’t score. They loaded the bases in the third and didn’t score. Altuve homered in the fourth to make it 2-0. They got two more hits in the fifth and didn’t score. Another hit in the sixth without scoring.
So it was all teed up for the Braves to chip away. Able to do what the Astros weren’t, they strung together enough offense to score a run. But they, too, left bases loaded and squandered a chance at a big inning.
The game was getting late now. Houston got its obligatory hit in the top of the seventh but didn’t score. Then lightning struck for Atlanta with back-to-back home runs from Swanson and Soler, who was pinch hitting for the pitcher. And from that point on, the Astros didn’t get another baserunner.
Game 4 was, like Game 3, a thriller from the first pitch. In the end, from one breath-stopping at-bat to another, the Braves won 3-2 in a game they desperately tried to give away.
Brian Snitker’s gamble didn’t pay off. It just didn’t blow up in his face.
Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than smart.