World Series Recap
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Monday, October 28, 2019
Six days ago, the team with Major League Baseball’s best home record was down 2-0 in the World Series after two games at their home park.
Fast forward to Monday morning and the Houston Astros find themselves one win away from their second title in three seasons.
It’s been a roller-coaster week for both the Astros and the Washington Nationals – no shortage of entertainment and intriguing narrative in the 2019 Fall Classic.
The opening two contests were expected to be pitching duals between four of the best starters in the game, but the Nationals quieted the sea of orange at Minute Maid Park, putting up five runs against Gerrit Cole for a 5-4 win in Game 1, and four runs against Justin Verlander in Game 2, for an eventual 12-3 victory.
Game 3 was the first World Series game held in the United States’ capital since 1933, but the Stros put a damper on any celebration in DC and snapped the Nats eight-game win streak. Houston’s bats came alive, as they had ten hits against Nationals starter Anibal Sanchez and a 4-1 win.
A rookie starting pitcher who began the season in Double A, Jose Urquidy, and a grand slam from the AL MVP nominated Alex Bregman was all the hype in Game 4. The Astros came away with a convincing 8-1 win.
Since the road team was the victor in Game’s 1-4, the main narrative going into Sunday’s Game 5 was the return of Game 1 starters Gerrit Cole (HOU) and Max Scherzer (WSH) to battle it out and break the tied series.
Just three hours before game-time, news was released that Scherzer would not be able to start due to neck/back spasms. In a pre-game conference, Scherzer confirmed he’d felt tightness in his neck throughout the previous few days and that it completely flared up on Sunday morning. Scherzer said it was “impossible to do anything” with the amount of pain he was in and even admitted his wife had to help him get dressed.
Joe Ross was named Scherzer’s replacement to start Game 5. Ross had pitched two relief innings in Friday’s Game 3, allowing just one hit.
Ross lasted five innings Sunday night, but the resurgent bats of the Astros had five hits, including homeruns from rookie Yordan Alvarez and Carlos Correa.
Cole was fantastic and dominant, allowing just three hits in seven full innings with nine strike outs.
The series now heads back to Minute Maid Park in Houston for Game 6 on Tuesday. Although the Nationals outscored the Astros 17-7 through two games at home, the Stros said anything you can do, I can do better, and countered that by outscoring the Nats 19-3 at Nationals Park.
On the bump for Game 6, it will be Justin Verlander (HOU) and Stephen Strasburg (WSH). Verlander was 21-6 in the regular season and led the league in wins, but is only 1-3 in five postseason starts. Strasburg, on the other hand, led the National League with 18 wins and is 4-0 in the playoffs.