Sports

Early Lead Slips Away As Astros Drop Game 1 Of The World Series

Houston looks to draw even in Game 2 Wednesday night at Minute Maid Park.

Alex Bregman Strikes Out
Astros third baseman Alex Bregman reacts after striking out during the ninth inning of Game 1 of the World Series against the Washington Nationals.

The Astros will look to draw even in Game 2 of the World Series Wednesday night after the Washington Nationals took the opener of the Fall Classic 5-4 Tuesday at Minute Maid Park.

The series is expected to be all about pitching, and that continues to be the case in Game 2 as future Hall of Famer Justin Verlander takes the mound for Houston. Former No. 1 overall draft pick Stephen Strasburg starts for Washington.

In terms of momentum, Houston seemed to pick up in Game 1 where it left off in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series when second baseman Jose Altuve won the pennant with a walk-off home run. The Astros put two runs on the board in the first inning against Nationals ace Max Scherzer. But that’s all they’d get until he was out of the game.

Meanwhile, Gerrit Cole gave up five runs — that’s as many as he’d given up in his previous eight starts combined. And he lost for the first time since the month of May.

The New Mr. October

George Springer Homer in Game 1
With his home run in Game 1, George Springer surpassed Lou Gehrig and Reggie Jackson to set a new MLB record by homering in his fifth consecutive World Series game.

The Astros were down 5-2 as late as the seventh inning when outfielder George Springer hit a solo home run to tighten things at 5-3. That homer set a new Major League record, as Springer homered in his fifth straight World Series game.

Springer doubled in another run to pull the Astros within one in the eighth, but they were unable to complete the rally in the ninth.

An Arms Race

The series continues to showcase some of the game’s best pitching. Each team features three starters who would arguably be the ace of just about any other team.

Verlander was traded to Houston in 2017 and helped lead the Astros to the franchise’s first championship that season while Strasburg has overcome numerous arm injuries over the years to get to his first World Series.

Justin Verlander starts Game 2 of the World Series for the Astros.

In Game 1, the Nationals even brought in one of their other quality starters — Patrick Corbin — for a relief appearance after Scherzer left the game.

This is the Astros third trip to the World Series in club history and their second in just the last three seasons.

When the series shifts to Washington Friday for Game 3, it’ll be the first World Series game played in the nation’s capital since 1933.

Scenes From Around Minute Maid Park Prior To Game 1:

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Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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