World Series notebook: Hey Siri! Rookie center fielder in G2

HOUSTON (AP) — The only change in Houston’s lineup for Game 2 was energetic rookie José Siri in center field instead of Chas McCormick.

Siri’s first World Series start came less than two months after making his big league debut Sept. 3 following eight seasons in the minors.

While the 26-year-old Siri played for only the fourth time this postseason, he is always the first guy out of the dugout cheering and jumping around anytime something big happens for the Astros in these playoffs. He once almost knocked down 72-year-old manager Dusty Baker in his haste to celebrate.

Baker got on him for that, but the manager loves Siri’s enthusiasm.

“It’s like having children,” Baker said. “They give me energy. They crack you up.”

Siri embraces the description of forever running on level 100. He wears a gold and diamond medallion with the 100 emoji around his neck, and also has it tattooed on the inside of his left arm.

“It’s really important to have somebody who maintains the energy in the clubhouse, who maintains the energy in the dugout,” he said in Spanish through an interpreter.

Asked his level of energy and excitement before starting Game 2, Siri responded, “200.”

UNDER THE SUN — AND STARS

The sun shined brightly through the glass onto parts of the outfield during batting practice for both teams, and the retractable roof was open before the first pitch.

There were clear and sunlit skies when Game 2 started, with all but a small portion in deep center field already in the shadows. The game time temperature was 73 degrees, and was expected to only fall into the upper 60s throughout the evening.

Those conditions were drastically different than earlier in the day when strong storms moved through the Houston area and triggered tornado warnings.

As for the early weather forecast in Truist Park in Atlanta for Game 3 on Friday and Game 4 on Saturday, there is a 50% chance of rain both days with temperatures in the mid-to-upper 50s. There was a 90% chance of rain Thursday, an off day in the series.

RUNNING OPTION

Speedy outfielder Terrance Gore is on the World Series roster for the Braves after not being on it for the NL Championship Series, or even playing a regular season game for Atlanta.

With a potential four of seven games being in the American League park and the use of a designated hitter, Gore is part of the roster to be a pinch-runner.

“Just knowing with these games and just adding … because we didn’t use the extra guy that much, as much as I think we thought we would. I just figure that’s kind of a nice item to have on the bench in a situation where it is a big run,” manager Brian Snitker said. “There’s a couple of guys we probably would run for, and to have that there we just kind of felt was more important than the extra hitter.”

Gore has only two at-bats in nine career playoff games with Kansas City, the Chicago Cubs and Atlanta in the NL Division Series. He is five of six on stolen base attempts and has scored three runs.

PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE

Houston has 13 players on its roster with previous World Series experience. All of those were for the Astros in 2017 or 2019 — or both.

With the Braves in the Fall Classic for the first time since 1999, their only six players who played in past World Series did so for seven different teams since 2012. They are Travis d’Arnaud (2015 New York Mets), Terrence Gore (2014-15 Kansas City Royals), Charlie Morton (2017 Astros, 2020 Tampa Bay Rays), Joc Pederson (2017-18, 2020 Los Angeles Dodgers), Drew Smyly (2012 Detroit Tigers), and Jorge Soler (2016 Chicago Cubs).

SHORT HOPS

Every Braves starter had a hit in Game 1, the first time a team’s starting nine all had hits since Kansas City in Game 6 of the 2014 World Series. It was the 25th time overall, but first in a World Series opener. … This is only the second time since MLB went to a six-division format in 1994 that the World Series matches teams from the NL East and AL West. The other was the Astros against the Washington Nationals two years ago. … The Astros had two of their Hall of Fame players throw out ceremonial first pitches: Jeff Bagwell before Game 2 after Craig Biggio before Game 1. They were on the field together for a ceremonial first pitch before Game 7 of the 2019 World Series at Minute Maid Park.

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