Prof: Here we are, the Astros and the Nationals; two exciting pitching staffs, electric sluggers, intense veterans and outstanding youngsters. Houston is looking for their second championship in the last five years, while Washington is attempting to win their first.
Of course, this is only game one, and this is a best of seven affair. But let’s set the scene: Max Scherzer vs Gerrit Cole – two of baseball’s best, both with a fire in their soul and ice water in their veins. Who blinks first? Who gets the hot bat? Will the Original National make waves? Will the Littlest Second Baseman Who Could continue to carry the team on his small shoulders? THIS IS EVERYTHING!
Washington Nationals at Houston Astros
Game One – 2019 World Series
We started with a slick first inning from Cole, who blanked the Curly Dubs he faced. Then, Mad Max took the mound and did not have the greatest outing; Scherzer gave up two runs after walking George Springer and allowing Altuve to steal second.
The Nats did not have to wait long to get revenge, though. OG National Ryan Zimmerman, who has spent his entire career in Washington, gets the Nats on the board with a solo home run. Afterwards, Scherzer got his bearings. It was all up to the offense to get hot.
They got their chance in the fourth inning, when Juan Soto hit a moonshot to left center, going up where the Astros’ train goes around Minute Maid Park. Then onto the fifth, where Cole did something positively not Cole-like and gave up three more runs, including another to Juan Soto who had a two run double.
After almost 120 pitches, Scherzer finally gave up the ball. In came Patrick Corbin, who continued to keep the pressure on the ‘stros.
Cole went into the seventh and held it together, continuing to keep the rest of the Curly Dubs scoreless in the late innings, still throwing high heat even after 100 pitches.
Down to the bottom of the seventh, when Washington dipped into their bullpen. Oops. A Springer Dinger to center field brings Houston up one. This is George’s third homer in this postseason, and 14th career postseason tater. The guy knows how to mash when October comes around. The slip-ups continue, walking Michael Brantley and Alex Bregman. Washington pulls Rainey, who had started the inning, and subs new dad Daniel Hudson, who loads the bases with a Carlos Correa single. Hudson gets out of the jam, striking out Yordan Alvarez to end the inning.
Will Harris comes out for Houston. Am I alone in thinking that Will Harris looks like a farmer who just came in from bailing hay and was like, “Yeah, sure, I can throw an inning for ya”? Anyway, Harris did throw that inning and didn’t give up any runs, then I guess went back to his farm.
Hudson comes back out in the eighth and things become a bit dicey. He gives up a hit to Michael Tucker, then a George Springer (momma, there goes that man again!) double brings Tucker in. It’s now a one run game.
Here we are, bottom of the ninth. Houston is down by one. Sean Doolittle is on the bump, Alex Bregman leads off. Bregman – a sure candidate for regular season MVP – has had a rough night. Doolittle strikes Bregman out. Next up, Yuli Gurriel. Fly out. Two outs. The Nats have this in hand, if they can close out Carlos Correa.
Doolittle with the pitch… and Correa lines out.
The game is over! Nats secure victory in game one, in enemy territory.
FINAL: Washington 5, Houston 4
Scouts: I was able to find a way to watch the game despite MLB’s HORRIBLE black out policy, but that’s a rant for another day. I’m sure I sound like quite the old man today, but I have to say. If you are going to have nearly 4 hour baseball games, you gotta start them early enough that they don’t end after Midnight on the East Coast. Some of the most exciting moments in the game end when half your fan-base is in bed. That’s a real problem MLB. It’s been a real problem for years, and there is zero reason for it.