Houston Astros at Washington Nationals
When: 8:07 PM ET, Friday, October 25, 2019
Where: Nationals Park, Washington, District of Columbia
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
WASH DC – The Washington Nationals stunned just about everyone but themselves by winning the first two games of the World Series in Houston and look to take a commanding 3-0 lead when they host the Astros tonight. Washington became the 26th team to win Games 1 and 2 on the road in a best-of-seven series under the 2-3-2 format and only three clubs – the last was the 1996 Atlanta Braves in the World Series – have lost.
Houston was a prohibitive favorite to win its second championship in three seasons but instead finds itself in a deep hole after losing 12-3 on Wednesday, and faces a must-win situation in the first World Series game played in the nation’s capital since 1933. “I think we’ve kind of defied the odds at this point,” Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon told reporters. “And we don’t pay too much attention to them.”
The Astros also face a lineup decision since there will not be a designated hitter in the National League park, so likely American League Rookie of the Year Yordan Alvarez – .213 batting average in the postseason, but 3-for-6 in the World Series – could replace Josh Reddick (.111, playoffs) in the outfield.
Washington sets its sights on Houston right-hander Zack Greinke after it defeated Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander – one will win the AL Cy Young Award – while Anibal Sanchez takes the ball for his first appearance since Oct. 11, when he took a no-hitter into the eighth inning against St. Louis in the NL Championship Series.
TV: 8:07 p.m. ET, FOX
PITCHING MATCHUP: Astros RH Zack Greinke (0-2, 6.43 ERA) vs. Nationals RH Anibal Sanchez (1-0, 0.71)
Greinke makes his first World Series start after allowing one run, three hits and four walks with five strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings of Houston’s 8-3 victory over New York in Game 4 of the ALCS on Oct. 17. The 36-year-old Florida native went 8-1 with a 3.02 ERA in 10 regular-season starts with the Astros after being acquired from Arizona at the trade deadline but lost his first two postseason outings at Tampa Bay in the ALDS and against the Yankees in Game 1 of the ALCS. Greinke could also be a factor at the plate as the .225 career batter has hit .227 in 22 career postseason at-bats and led pitchers with three home runs and eight extra-base hits this season.
Sanchez was four outs away from a no-hitter when Jose Martinez singled, but Washington prevailed 2-0 in Game 1 of the NLCS. The 35-year-old Venezuelan boasts a 2.57 ERA and 1.05 WHIP in 56 postseason innings with 60 strikeouts. Sanchez makes his second World Series appearance after losing to San Francisco in 2012, allowing two runs with eight strikeouts over seven innings of a 2-0 setback.
- Washington LF Juan Soto, 20, is 4-for-7 with a home run, three RBIs, two doubles and three runs scored in the World Series.
- Houston 3B Alex Bregman, a top contender to win the AL MVP, is batting .233 in the postseason and is 1-for-8 in the World Series.
- The Nationals have won eight straight games, joining the 2004 Boston Red Sox, the 2005 Chicago White Sox and the 2014 Kansas City Royals as the only clubs to accomplish that feat in a single postseason.