The Atlanta Braves have a 2-1 lead in the World Series after taking down the Houston Astros 2-0 in Game 3 on Friday night, which featured rainy and chilly conditions at Truist Park. Here are our main takeaways from the Braves’ victory:

Braves flirt with no-hitter in shutout

Rookie right-hander Ian Anderson was terrific for Atlanta, throwing five no-hit innings before being pulled at 76 pitches.

The Atlanta bullpen — A.J. Minter, Luke Jackson, Tyler Matzek, and Will Smith — continued the excellent pitching, firing four scoreless innings — one inning each — with two hits allowed, no walks, and three strikeouts.

Smith closed it out for the save, despite one of the few well-struck baseballs of the night for Houston on the final out.

The no-hitter ended on a cheapie

The Braves should’ve kept the no-hitter through eight innings.

Leading off the eighth for Houston, Aledmys Díaz broke up the no-no on a blooper into left field that should’ve been caught. Braves left fielder Eddie Rosario came after the ball tentatively, likely worried he may collide with shortstop Dansby Swanson. Then again, it was a one-run game in the World Series, and there was a historic no-hitter on the line (it’s very possible Rosario had no idea about the no-hitter, though). One way or another, this should’ve been an out.

The Astros added a leadoff single from Alex Bregman in the top of the ninth for their only other hit.

Austin Riley and Travis d’Arnaud get the big hits for Atlanta

In the bottom of the third, Riley doubled to provide the Braves with the only run they’d need on the night.

But d’Arnaud added some huge insurance for Atlanta with two outs in the eighth, when he crushed a 437-foot home run to center field. This surely made life easier on Will Smith and the Braves’ defense in the ninth.

The series going forward

This was a huge game for the Braves to win, because things figure to get more challenging for in Games 4 and 5. That’s because each game is set to be a bullpen game for Atlanta, after they lost starting pitcher Charlie Morton for the series to a right fibula fracture in Game 1. And the games come on consecutive days, after the bullpen also threw four innings in Game 3. So, it’s going to take a creative effort from Snitker and a grueling effort from the Atlanta bullpen to get through the next two games.

The Astros will start veteran pitcher Zack Greinke (4.16 ERA in 171 regular-season innings) in Game 4. The crafty right-hander has only thrown 2 1/3 innings this postseason, with his last appearance being a rough one against the Boston Red Sox on Oct. 19: 1 1/3 innings, one hit, two earned runs (one home run), three walks, zero strikeouts. The Astros will need Greinke to be much better than that in Game 4, and they hope to just get the series back to Houston for a Game 6 (and 7 if necessary).

Five Thirty Eight currently gives the Braves a 72% chance to win the World Series, while FanGraphs gives Atlanta a 64.2% shot.

About Matt Clapp

Matt is an editor at The Comeback. He attended Colorado State University, wishes he was Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris, and idolizes Larry David. And loves pizza and dogs because obviously.

He can be followed on Twitter at @Matt2Clapp (also @TheBlogfines for Cubs/MLB tweets and @DaBearNecess for Bears/NFL tweets), and can be reached by email at