Saturday , October 31 2020

Astros Take Lead From Nationals in Game 6: Live Updates – The New York Times, The New York Times


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Justin Verlander got out of a small jam in the third inning by inducing a groundout from Juan Soto with two men on base.Astros 2, Nationals 1.

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Credit …Elsa / Getty Images

The Houston Astros will host the Washington Nationals for Game 6 of the 2019 World Series. Houston holds a three-games-to-two advantage in the Series and could clinch its second championship in three years with a win tonight.

The game, scheduled for 8: 07 pm Eastern, will be broadcast on Fox and can be streamed online at FoxSports.com.

The first inning is a distant memory, with Justin Verlander and Stephen Strasburg absolutely dealing.

Verlander needed just four pitches to dispatch Yan Gomes (groundout to second) and Trea Turner (fly to center). He walked Adam Eaton, bringing Anthony Rendon to the plate, and after a lengthy 10 – pitch at-bat, Verlander walked him as well. But the two-out jam did not last long, as Verlander got Juan Soto to ground out to second to end the threat.

Strasburg started off the bottom half of inning by striking out Josh Reddick on a changeup that Reddick nearly toppled over trying to connect with. George Springer grounded out harmlessly to third and Jose Altuve grounded out to Asdrubal Cabrera in shallow center field to end the inning.

Both aces appeared to be settling in nicely in the second, with Stephen Strasburg countering Justin Verlander’s overpowering effort with one defined by efficiency.

In the top half of the inning, Verlander struck out Asdrubal Cabrera with a 95 – mile-per-hour fastball, got Ryan Zimmerman to fly out to left and then finished the 1 -2-3 inning with a five-pitch strikeout of Victor Robles.

In the bottom half, Strasburg quickly retired Yordan Alvarez, Carlos Correa and Robinson Chirinos, all on groundouts. He needed just seven pitches.

In a battle of ace starters, both faltered some in the first, but Stephen Strasburg fared worse and the Nationals are trailing the Astros, 2-1.

With Justin Verlander pitching for Houston in the top of the first, Washington’s leadoff batter, Trea Turner, was called out at first after a soft grounder to third – only for a review to prove that he had beaten Alex Bregman’s throw. Adam Eaton executed a perfect sacrifice bunt, sending Turner to second, and that extra base proved crucial as Anthony Rendon took advantage of the shift, singling to center through a gigantic opening at second base, bringing Turner home for a 1-0 Washington lead.

Juan Soto flied out to left for the second out and Howie Kendrick popped out to second to end

Given a lead to work with, Strasburg couldn’t hold it. George Springer doubled to lead things off and got to third by way of a wild pitch. He easily scored, sliding headfirst mostly for style, on a sacrifice fly to left by Jose Altuve, making it 1-1.

After Michael Brantley struck out looking on a beautiful changeup from Strasburg, Alex Bregman made it a 2-1 game with a 355 – foot homer to left. Yuli Gurriel also hit a ball deep to left, but Juan Soto tracked it down for the third out.

Soto appeared to have injured himself at least slightly on the play.

Astros

1. George Springer CF

2. Jose Altuve 2B

3. Michael Brantley LF

4. Alex Bregman 3B

5 ********* Yuli Gurriel 1B

6. Yordan Alvarez DH

7. Carlos Correa SS

8. Robinson Chirinos C

9. Josh Reddick RF

Justin Verlander P

Nationals

1. Trea Turner SS

2. Adam Eaton RF

3. Anthony Rendon 3B

4. Juan Soto LF

5. Howie Kendrick DH

6. Asdrubal Cabrera 2B

7. Ryan Zimmerman 1B

8. Victor Robles CF

9. Yan Gomes C

Stephen Strasburg P

(Keys to the Game

  • The Astros have won three straight games, and many people – including Las Vegas oddsmakers – are assuming they will finish the job, perhaps as early as tonight in Game 6. But an alternate ending is not too far-fetched: Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer (if he’s healthy) shut down the Astros – as they did in Games 1 and 2 in Houston – and are named co-MVPs of a wacky World Series in which the road team wins every game.

    Strasburg is 4-0 with a 1. 93 ERA in the postseason, and his nasty changeup has baffled four teams so far: the Brewers in the N.L. wild card game; the Dodgers, who whiffed 17 times in 12 combined innings against him; the Cardinals, who struck out 12 times and didn’t score an earned run; and the Astros in Game 2, with Alex Bregman’s two-run homer his only mistake. If he can win Game 6, then it would be up to Scherzer to overcome his back spasms to win Game 7.

  • Justin Verlander has pitched a season’s worth of games in the postseason since 2006, making 29 starts and one relief appearance, going 14 – 10 with a 3. 35 ERA That is no small sample size. A less illustrative sample is his World Series record: He is 0-5 in six World Series starts with a 5. 73 ERA, including a Game 2 loss to Washington at home. His only World Series no-decision was Houston’s 11 – inning win against the Dodgers in Game 2, 2017, and he left that game in the sixth inning trailing, 3-1.

    This season he is 1-3, and perhaps his best outing came in a Game 5 loss to the Yankees in the ALCS Verlander gave up four first-inning runs on a pair of homers at Yankee Stadium, but then refused to give in or exit the game. The Astros needed a long outing from him because they had a bullpen game scheduled for Game 6 the next night. Verlander threw six more shutout innings when it was imperative that the bullpen rest, and it was an underappreciated element to the Astros winning the pennant. Can Verlander now find the same resolve to earn his first World Series win?

  • For the Nationals to win the World Series, they would have to accomplish the unprecedented feat of winning four road games in the Series. It is fairly unusual for something to have never been done in baseball, but the closest thing to a precedent for what Washington needs to accomplish comes from the seven teams that won both Games 6 and 7 on the road, the most recent of which was the 2016 Chicago Cubs. Those Cubs won Games 2, 6 and 7 on the road, with their fourth win coming at home in Game 5.

    (The) Louis Cardinals, better known as the Gashouse Gang, lost Games 4 and 5 at home before winning Games 6 and 7 on the road, just as the 1926 Cardinals had done, so perhaps Washington needs to channel some Louis energy.

    Beyond those Cardinals and Cubs teams, the other teams to win Games 6 and 7 on the road were the 1952 and 1958 Yankees, the 1968 Detroit Tigers and the (Pittsburgh Pirates.

  • If the Houston Astros were to win tonight,the World Series MVP would be a matter of huge debate, as the team has gotten key contributions from several players, none of whom is clearly dominant. But if Stephen Strasburg were to dominate for Washington tonight, and the Nationals were to go on to win the Series, he would seemingly be the frontrunner for the award based on his getting the better of Justin Verlander twice in one series.

  • Mickey Mantle, Jimmie Foxx, Andruw Jones and Juan Soto. That is the entire list of players with more than one World Series home run at age 21 or younger. Jones was the youngest (19 Years 18 days) and hit both of his in the same game, but Mantle had four (two in the 1952 Series and two more in 1953) while each of the others had just two. Soto has two more games to try to match him this year, but with his birthday being Oct. 25, there’s theoretically a chance he’ll still be 21 for the first four games of next year Series, should the Nationals qualify.

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