Saturday, October 26, 2019

World Series Game Three

Last night saw the first World Series Game in Washington in 84 years.  The Washington folks were extremely enthusiastic, but the Astros didn't give them much to cheer about.  The Astros are a great club, and you had the feeling that they were really tired of trailing.  So their pitchers dominated the Nats -- striking out 13, and allowing only one run on nine hits.  The Nats -- who have been remarkably opportunistic of late -- went 0-10 with runners in scoring position.

And it really cost them, because Jose Altuve -- who has been uncharacteristically quiet so far -- decided to remind everyone that he really is the best position player in this series.  With Houston up 1-0, he led off the third inning with a double, advanced to third when Juan Soto misplayed the ball, and scored on an infield single by Michael Brantley.  In the fifth, with the score 2-1 for Houston, Altuve doubled again, and scored on a single by Brantley.  Houston later tacked on a home run by Robinson Chrinos, but they didn't really need it, as Natstown spent the evening waiting for a homer that never came.  Houston ended the night with a pretty easy 4-1 victory.

So the Nats' remarkable 8-game winning streak has come to an end.  The Nats have been resilient all year, and they will need all their resilience tonight.  My own belief is that whoever wins this game will win the Series.  The Nats are going with Patrick Corbin (14-7, ERA of 3.25), their third-best starter.  Houston has already used its three aces:  Cole, Verlander, and Greinke.  So tonight the Astros will start Jose Urquidy (2-1, ERA of 3.95), a rookie who is starting only the seventh game of his career.  But Urquidy is probably just an "opener."  This feels like what Houston did in Game Six against the Yankees, where they just turned the whole game over to their bullpen.  If Washington can beat Houston's bullpen, the Nats will be only one game away from the crown.  But if the bullpen comes through -- or if Altuve and company have a big night against Corbin -- the Astros will have retaken the home field advantage and they will have their aces lined up the rest of the way.

7:07 PM Central:  Houston at Washington (Washington leads 2-1) (FOX)

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