Columnist Logan Perrone breaks down games 3, 4 and 5 of the 2019 World Series. Below are each of the recaps in reverse-chronological order.
“I hope I go home with nothing left in the tank.”
Those were the words of Houston ace Gerrit Cole prior to his game five start.
And that’s exactly what he did.
The hard-throwing righty tossed seven of his best innings this postseason, allowing three hits, one run, while striking out nine.
Hours before the start of the game, Washington scratched its ace, Mizzou-made Max Scherzer, from the game due to necks spasms.
“For me it became impossible to do any medial task whatsoever today,” Scherzer said. They instead opted to go with game three reliever Joe Ross. Ross would go only five innings, allowing five hits including a pair of two-run home runs.
The first of those home runs came in the second inning, as Yordan Alvarez launched his first longball of the postseason. Then in the fourth inning, Carlos Correa would also get his first dinger of World Series, scoring Alvarez and extending the lead to four.
Washington would score their one unaccompanied run via the homer. In the seventh, Juan Soto, who recorded two of the Nationals’ four hits on Sunday, stroked one into the left center gap that narrowly made its way over the fence and out of the reach of six-foot three-inch centerfielder Jake Marisnick.
In the eighth and ninth innings, the Astros would add three more runs to their lead. In the eighth, a single by Gurriel scored outfielder George Springer, who would cap off an amazing night for the Astros with a two-run moonshot in the ninth. The Astros pen stayed hot in the late innings too, pitching shutout baseball en route to the 7-1 victory.
Cole’s stellar performance in one of the biggest games of his career to date undoubtably etches his postseason as one of the best in baseball history. Over five games, he has gone 4-1 with a 1.72 ERA in 36.2 innings, allowing 21 hits and striking out 47. With free agency looming, the 29-year old can expect a big pay day this winter.
With the series set to return to Houston for Tuesday night’s game six, the Astros eye their second World Series title in three seasons. A win in game six or a winner-take all game seven would be the first time the team claimed a championship on their home turf. This year’s Fall Classic has been one of many firsts already and would fit the narrative.
However, the Nationals are not out of the fight just yet. With stellar arms left in Strasburg and Scherzer (given he is healthy for a possible game seven), the team from the Nation’s capital could very well take advantage of the road dominance. Each game thus far has been won by the visiting team, marking seven straight World Series games won by the club on the road since game four of the last year’s series between the Red Sox and Dodgers.
Saturday’s game four was a Houston-dominated affair. The bats were alive in the visitors’ dugout and the pitching shut down any Washington attempt to get runs across the plate, limiting them to a lone run for the second consecutive game.
Houston got off to an early start, scoring two runs in the first inning courtesy of four straight singles off the bats of Altuve, Brantley, Bregman, and Gurriel. They would add two more to their lead in the after Robinson Chirinos launched a ball deep into the night, scoring Correa who walked to lead-off the inning. This was Chirinos’ second homerun of the series, both coming on the road.
A lone run for the Nationals would come in the bottom half of the sixth inning on a one-out, bases-loaded groundout from Juan Soto brought home Gerardo Parra. Will Harris would strike-out Howie Kendrick to end the threat after inheriting a dirty inning.
The Astros responded in a big way in the seventh. With the bases loaded from a Kyle Tucker walk, a George Springer walk, and a Michael Brantley single, Houston’s young stud Alex Bregman mashed a ball into the night, which cemented a seven-run lead, the Astros’ largest of the series. Their pitching would hold steady throughout the game as Houston would win 8-1.
Houston has steadily bounced back in games three and four. The pitching has found good rhythm and the bats have come out of hibernation. Jose Urquidy exceeded all expectations in last night’s contest. The 24-year old rookie threw five innings of shutout baseball, allowing a measly two hits and striking out four while allowing no free passes. The pen would keep this up, allowing only two hits and one run over four innings upon relieving Urquidy.
Alex Bregman also had a night to remember. The vibrant star, who previously hit a lousy .129 in his last nine games, had a breakout night, going 3 for 5 with five RBIs.
Washington’s offense once again fell silent, as the team was unable to muster more than four hits the entire game. Nats’ pitcher Patrick Corbin also failed to produce last night, allowing seven hits and only striking out five through six innings of work.
The American League Champions’ win last night guaranteed a return home for a game six, a huge relief for Houston, who were incredibly good at home during the regular season with a 60-21 record at Minute Made Park. They also get to bring out ace Justin Verlander in hopes of shutting-out a struggling Nationals lineup.
The last time a Fall Classic was played in the District of Columbia the average American made roughly $1,500. The average ticket price for Friday night’s game (on StubHub) was $1,600.
In the second inning, the Astros got their first lead since the third inning of game one, courtesy of a bloop single to left from outfielder Josh Reddick and good base running from shortstop Carlos Correa. An inning later, Houston would plate another with an RBI single off the bat of Michael Brantley.
Washington would get their lone run in the third in the fourth as Victor Robles would narrowly sneak the first triple of the series down the right field line, scoring Zimmerman from first base. Brantley and Houston would get that run back the next inning with another RBI single again to right field. Robinson Chirinos would trot the bases after his sixth inning homer off the left field foul pole, stretching the Astros’ lead to three.
From there on out, the Houston’s bullpen held solid. They would allow no runs, two hits, and record six strikeouts over four and a third innings of work. The effort would use five different arms, including Osuna, who had blown his previous save opportunity in game seven of the ALCS.
The Nationals bats, which produced seventeen runs on the road in Houston, would fall silent in a dramatic way last night. The team would strike-out thirteen times, with three of those Ks coming from the bat of Juan Soto. While the Nationals would scrap together nine hits in the contest, timing was not on their side as they would go 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position. A highlight Washington would be their bullpen, as a combination of Fernando Rodney, Joe Ross, and Wander Suero would combine for three and two-thirds innings of one hit baseball.
Houston’s win was crucial in remaining in the series. The Astros will now be able to get ace Gerrit Cole back on the mound for a game five and avoid a trio of Corbin, Scherzer, Strasburg in what could have been a clincher for the Nats.
Edited by Garrett Jones | firstname.lastname@example.org