The World Series is heading to the Nation’s Capital. The Washington Nationals will host the Houston Astros for Game 3 at Nat’s Park Friday night in the first World Series game in D.C. since 1933. The Nationals are in great shape heading home for Game 3, as they surprisingly took both games from the Astros in Houston. The Nationals dominated the last two games, winning with a combined score of 17-7. Here is a brief look back at the beginning of the series and what to expect this weekend in Washington.
Cole and Verlander Don’t Live up to World Series Hype.
The biggest story so far in the World Series is the lack of pitching coming from the Houston Astros, especially from both Cy Young Finalist Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander. Cole started Game 1 for Houston and allowed two home runs in his 7.0 innings of work. This was the first time since early August that Cole allowed two hits to leave the yard in a start. Gerrit Cole also allowed eight hits in his shaky start for the Astros. The MLB leader in the regular season strikeout leader only sat down six on strikes in Game 1 and posted a horrendous 6.43 ERA.
Justin Verlander had a chance to make up for the rough outing of his teammate in Game 2, but that was not the case. In 6.0 innings of work, Verlander, also a Cy Young Finalist, allowed seven hits, and one home run to Kurt Suzuki that eventually sent him off the mound. The future Hall of Famer recorded a lousy 6.00 ERA. The only plus side to Verlander’s outing is that he surpassed John Smoltz as the all-time leader for strikeouts in MLB postseason history. Quite an accomplishment, but Verlander has not had great outings in his career during the World Series. In Verlander’s World Series career, he has started six games and has yet to record a win, posting, and 0-5 record. His World Series career ERA is also quite high at 5.73.
Juan Soto Continues to Shine
The World Series has been the Juan Soto party, and it’s expected to continue into Washington for Friday’s matchup. Soto arguably is leading the race for World Series MVP as he performed flawlessly in Games 1 and 2. Soto went 3-4 with 3 RBI’s during Game 1, including a double and Homerun. After two games, he is leading all batters with a .571 batting average. Soto, who turns 21 on the day of game 3 will look to continue the impressive play into Nationals Park.
The Missing Swagger of Alex Bregman
The most disappointing player this entire postseason has been Alex Bregman. The AL MVP Finalist has not played up to the expectations during the whole playoffs. Bregman is aware of his troubles but has yet to find the boost to get out of his slump.
“It starts with me. I was horrible all night, I’ve been terrible all postseason.”Houston Astros 3rd Baseman Alex Bregman After World Series Game 1.
It seemed that Bregman found a spark in Game 2, as he launched a two-run homer off Stephen Strasburg in the first inning, but it only got worse from there. Bregman made multiple defensive errors late in Game 2 and was a significant reason the Nationals scored ten runs in the last three innings to close out the Astros homestand. Not having Bregman performing is impacting the entire Astros team very clearly. If Houston wants to get back into this series, they MUST have the help from there MVP caliber Third Baseman
Heading into the Capital, What to Expect.
Game 3 will feature Nationals Pitcher Anibal Sanchez, and Astros Zack Greinke. Sanchez last started in Game 1 of the NLCS against the St. Louis Cardinals and was outstanding. The 35-year-old veteran held a no-hit bid into the 8th inning against the Cardinals. Sanchez set the tone for the entire series for the Nationals in the NLCS, and now he has the opportunity to set the tone in his home park.
On the other side of the mound, we will see Zack Greinke, who has not had the same luck this postseason. Greinke, who has had very shaky starts this postseason will look to rebound off the bad starts from Cole and Verlander. Greinke so far this postseason has an ERA of 6.43 with his last outing coming in game 4 of the ALCS. The Astros won that game against the Yankees 8-3, but Greinke was pulled after only 4.1 innings as he allowed three hits and four walks. Game 3 is a significant and pivotal game, especially when your team is down 2-0. Expect to see the Bullpen warm up quickly for the Astros if Zack gets in any struggle in Friday’s game.
Where to Watch
Game 3 is set to start at 8 PM eastern time Friday and will be aired nationwide on FOX. Be sure to tune in, as the Nationals look to win there first World Series Game in Washington since 1933.
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