What a way to start the World Series for the Washington Nationals on Tuesday night. After falling behind 2-0 in the first inning, they slowly chipped away, with solo home runs in the second by Ryan Zimmerman, and then another by Juan Soto in the fourth. They would drive home three more runs in the fifth inning to take a 5-2 lead, but Max Scherzer’s high pitch count took him out after five. The bullpen allowed two runs over four wild innings but held on for the win. 1-0 Washington!
Houston is a very strong team that got on the board immediately, the first two runners reaching in the bottom of the first, with Yuli Guerriel bringing them both in with a double. They would not score again for six innings, when George Springer had a home run in the seventh. They would leave the bases loaded and get another in the eighth on an RBI double by Springer. In the ninth, though, Sean Doolittle did his job, and for Houston, that spelled the end.
The Astros are set as favorites again in Game 2 at -174, while the Nationals are +157 underdogs. The over/under total is set at 7.5 runs.
Washington Looking To Go Up 2-0
With the Nationals picking up a 5-4 win, DC fans could pinch themselves, and they would know this was real. Making it to the World Series is one thing, and then winning a game in the series is a pretty big deal. They plated five runs against baseball’s best pitcher, and their bullpen held up just well enough to hold the game for them.
Most impressive was 20-year-old Juan Soto picking up three hits and driving in four runs. He continues to impress and play well above his age, showing that he will be the game’s next superstar. Best of all was Ryan Zimmerman, who was the first draft pick in Nats history, driving in the first run in the franchise’s first World Series game.
Stephen Strasburg will get the nod for Game 2. He fired three scoreless relief innings in the Wild Card Game. And he has allowed five runs (four earned) in 19 innings against the Dodgers and Cardinals. He has 29 strikeouts and just one walk in this time.
Houston Trying To Bounce Back
There is no doubt that the Astros lineup is better than Washington’s. Their top two hitters are always tough outs, with solid hitters up and down. If they weren’t facing pitching like the Nats have, they probably would have dominated in Game 1. Jose Altuve and George Springer never go without a fight, while the heart of their order has such power with a bat in their hands. Gerrit Cole was bound to see his ridiculous hot streak (undefeated since the third week of May) end, and it just came at an inopportune time for the Astros sake.
Justin Verlander will get the start in Game 2. He has allowed multiple runs in three straight playoff starts after seven innings of one-hit ball in his first outing against Tampa Bay. He allowed four runs against the Yankees in his last appearance.
Washington Goes Up 2-0
Strasburg will go a little deeper than Scherzer did, and Washington will be ahead two games to zero! Halfway home!
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