ATLANTA — How did the defending World Series champions react to winning the first six games of the seven home games that brought the Mets and Astros to town?
“It’s a good home,” Warriors catcher Travis d’Arnaud said. “We play baseball well, and most importantly, we keep making fun of each other and joking with each other.”
The Warriors certainly had reason to be happy, as they eliminated a pair of extra outfield turnovers in a 5-4 11-frame win over the Astros at Truth Park on Saturday night. Michael Harris II helped erase a two-run deficit with an RBI double in the 10th inning, and d’Arnaud capped a decisive comeback with a slugging single that bounced off home plate and found the right direction.
“Better luck than good luck,” Warriors first baseman Matt Olson said. “No, seriously, it was a good fight back and Travis came off the bench and found a hole in there.”
Yes, both Olson and d’Arnaud may have found some luck in the final innings. But the Warriors turned out to be very lucky, as they have won 11 of their last 12 games. They’ve cut their National League East deficit from 5 1/2 games to three games, losing just one of six games at home against the No. 1 Mets and Astros.
“These are the two best teams in the game,” Warriors team manager Brian Sniteke said. “These guys have been working on this all week, like it’s a playoff series.”
If the playoffs start today, Warriors starters in five or more games could be Max Fried, Kyle Wright, Charlie Morton and Spencer Ryder. Those four pitchers have combined to produce a 1.76 ERA in their five starts in the home stands.
Strider records 9 strikeouts after calming Mets strong lineup for five days out, and limited the Astros to 3 hits and 1 over 6 innings. When the Astros scored two points in Game 10, the Warriors proved his resilience and his efforts paid off.
When Harris spoke on Tuesday about receiving a year, $72 million contract, he joked that he didn’t think he had emotions. Well, again, he didn’t seem to be overwhelmed by any pressure as he doubled down to the right midfield gap, leaving the Warriors one point behind in the bottom of the 10th. Then he scored on Robbie Grossman.
Harris is less than three years old for a full few months of his career At 21 years and 167 days, he remains the youngest active player in MLB. But he hit 0.419 with 1.358 OPS in late and close.
Harris said: “I absolutely love to live up to the hype late in the game, in some I need to finish my work or perform a task.”
When Vaughan • The Astros had an 89 percent chance of winning when Grissom was grounded before Harris’ single-double in the 10th inning. Houston also had a 62 percent chance of winning when Jeremy Peña ran the RBI in Game 11.
But it was a night where luck trumped odds. After Austin Riley went into the 11th inning, Olson doubled down on a check swing, sending a grounder into the empty left side of the infield. Exit speed is 70.3 mph and hit probability is 11%. The effect was significant as it tied the race and placed the runners in second and third place.
“I wasn’t happy when I first got in touch,” Olson said. “Then I saw that no one was standing there. So, I started laughing very quickly and finished second.”
d’Arnaud had to come off the bench to hit Ryne Stanek’s 99mph fastball into right field in Olsen’s game before teasing , and was then mobbed during a departure celebration.
“It shows the struggle and determination that we must not give up until we finally get out ,” d’Arnaud said. “It’s a contagious thing. Once one person does it, everyone wants to do it.”