Bottom of the Ninth: Nationals 12 Astros 3
Javy Guerra, the long man on the World Series roster, came into close the game out. Sure, it wasn’t perfect and he gave up a run on three hits but hey, the Nats won and are returning to Washington up two games to none.
Top of the Ninth: Nationals 12 Astros 2.
The Nationals can keep on dancing as Michael A. Taylor homered to extend the lead to 10. Baby Shark got an appearance, taking over for Adam Eaton and popped out to center.
Bottom of the Eighth: Nationals 11 Astros 2.
Tanner Rainey came into the game. Did his thing. Touched 100 on the gun once again. Threw his nasty slider. Worked a clean inning.
Michael A. Taylor also came in as a defensive replacement and caught a fly ball.
Top of the Eighth: Nationals 11 Astros 2.
Washington added a few more runs on a two-run shot from Adam Eaton and forced A.J. Hinch to go to the bullpen again which didn’t work out either as Hector Rondon gave up a two out RBI single to Asdrubal Cabrera.
Bottom of the Seventh: Nationals 8 Astros 2.
The Fernando Rodney Experience happened. That’s all, folks.
Top of the Seventh: Nationals 8 Astros 2.
The Nationals couldn’t have drawn up their rally seventh inning any better than they executed it. The Nationals, notorious for scoring late in the game started to blow the game open. The inning opened up with starter Justin Verlander on the mound facing the 36-year-old catcher Kurt Suzuki. Zuk, who has hit many big homers throughout the 2019 regular season, delivered once again, blasting a solo shot over the Crawford Boxes in left field.
The Nationals, smelling blood in the water, worked two walks off of the newly entered Astros reliever Ryan Pressley. A Sac bunt from Adam Eaton moved both Victor Robles and Trea Turner over to second and third with only one out. A short flyball off the bat of Anthony Rendon wasn’t hit far enough to attempt a Sac fly so Robles and Turner had to stay home. With two outs in the inning the Astros, not wanting Juan Soto to beat them again, decided to walk Soto and load the bases for Howie Kendrick. Before Soto’s intentional walk, the Astros hadn’t intentionally walked a single batter in August 2018.
With Howie Kendrick at the dish and the bases loaded he delivered. On an 0-1 slider, Kendrick grounded to third on a ball that was booted by Alex Bregman. The runners moved up a base and the play was ruled a hit.
Asdrubal Cabrera, wanting to shut everyone up about his 1-7, five strikeout World Series struggles delivered the dagger and singled on a 1-2 pitch to drive in two runs and extend the lead to four. A wild pitch from Pressley during Ryan Zimmerman’s at-bat allowed both Kendrick and Cabrera to move up 90 feet.
Zimmerman, wanting to join in on the hit parade, squibbed a ball that rolled slowly down the third baseline. Zimmerman, hustling out of the box, beat an errant throw that allowed Kendrick and Cabrera to score extending the lead to 8-2.
Suzuki, who started the rally, grounded out to short to end the inning.
The Nats stayed in the fight and are only nine outs away from returning to D.C. up 2 games to none.
Bottom of the Sixth: Nationals 2 Astros 2.
Just like Max Scherzer last night, Straburg has battled all night long and didn’t let up during his 28 pitch, high-stress sixth inning. On a night where Strasburg didn’t have his best stuff he founded a way to pitch around it but it obviously came with a few pitches in some big spots.
After recording a quick out on an Alex Bregman ground ball, Yuli Gurriel doubled down the line. No problem, right? Once again wrong. After falling behind 2-0 in the count, manager Davey Martinez decided to intentionally walk the suddenly red-hot Yordan Alvarez.
The walk brought a struggling Carlos Correa to the plate but after battling for six pitches, Strasburg was able to get Correa to pop out to Asdrubal Cabrera who recorded the out about 10 feet into the outfield grass.
The biggest at-bat of the night came with Astros manager A.J. Hinch decided to pinch-hit for the light-hitting Robinson Chirinos as power hitting outfielder and former top prospect Kyle Tucker stepped up to the left-handed side of the batter’s box. Facing the righty, Strasburg, Tucker was able to work the count full, fouling off two 2-2 pitches. On the eighth pitch of the at-bat, Strasburg was able to record a strikeout on a high curveball that broke into the outside part of the plate.
Strasburg is likely done for the night after gutting out 114 pitches in Game Two.
Top of the Sixth: Nationals 2 Astros 2.
The Nationals continue to chase Verlander’s pitches outside of the zone as he currently sits at 98 pitches for the night. Verlander made quick work of the Nats in the sixth throwing 15 pitches and recording a line out, a strikeout and a ground out by Howie Kendrick, Asdrubral Cabrera and Ryan Zimmerman, respectively.
Cabrera looks off his game after a red-hot finish to his season. In his last 33 games in the regular season, Cabby recorded an OPS of .969 but it hasn’t translated into postseason success. The second baseman has struck out five times in seven at-bats so far in the Fall Classic.
Bottom of the Fifth: Nationals 2. Astros 2.
The fight continues as Stephen Strasburg faced four batters and threw 14 pitches in the sixth to keep the game tied at two. Josh Reddick quickly grounded out to Ryan Zimmerman to begin the inning and Georgre Springer roped a ball to short which Trea Turner picked on a short shop and threw to first to record the second out of the inning.
Jose Altuve smoked a ball up the middle that was just out of the reach of the diving Turner. Michael Brantley, once again got a chance to hit with runners on base but could not pick up a hit this time around. After three pickoff attempts in fear of an Altuve steal Brantley ended the inning after flying out to Victor Robles in center.
Strasburg now sits at 86 pitches, 56 for strikes, and could work into a pivotal seventh inning for the Nats.
Top of the Fifth: Score 2-2
The Nationals were able to get the leadoff man on base for the first time since the first inning after Trea Turner singled to right but the threat ended after Adam Eaton grounded into a 6-3 double play to kill the Nats momentum. Anthony Rendon was able to battle back from a 1-2 count to draw a seven pitch walk which was Verlander’s second of the night. Juan Soto also worked Verlander into a 3-2 count before Verlander snapped off his nasty 12-6 breaking ball and got Soto to roll over to first to end the inning.
Verlander now sits at 83 pitches through five and could work into the seventh unless the Nats knock him around or just simply work the count in the sixth.
Bottom of the Fourth: Score 2-2
Strasburg made quick work of the Astros in the fourth, amid a small bump in the way but nonetheless was dominant in the fourth. Strasburg started the inning with a three pitch strikeout to Yuli Gurriel who has now struckout twice in the World Series after failing to strike out in the ALDS and ALCS. Strasburg hit a small blip and allowed the struggling Yordan Alvarez to beat the overshifted Asdrubal Cabrera who was playing in right field to cover Alvarez’s tendency to pull the ball.
Strasburg was able to power through the next two hitters and got Carlos Correa to ground out softly to third on a fielder’s choice and struck out Robinson Chirinos to end the inning for the second time tonight. Strasburg now has six strikeouts through four innings of work but has allowed five Astro hits.
Top of the Fourth: Score 2-2
Justin Verlander made quick work of Asdrubal Cabrera, striking the second baseman out on four pitches. Zimmerman, one of the heroes of last night’s 5-4 win, singled on a ball to the 35-year-old Verlander who dove on the ball but threw it off of his left leg. Thankfully, Verlander was okay and laughed at himself for his effort.
After Verlander dusted himself off, Kurt Suzuki stepped up and launched a ball to deep right field that looked and sounded like it had the chance to leave the yard at the crack of the bat. However, the ball died on its way to the Crawford Box in left field and fell into Michael Brantley’s glove. Victor Robles, aggressive at the plate as always, popped out on a first pitch fastball to end the inning.
Bottom of the Third: Score 2-2
Strasburg faced his first jam off the night in the third. After getting two quick outs, via a Josh Reddick strikeout and a George Springer pop out, the Astros started a rally when Trea Turner booted a hard hit ball off the bat of Jose Altuve. Michael Brantley singled on a 1-2 changeup to right field that allowed the speedy Altuve to go first-to-third.
The single extended the inning for Alex Bregman who homered off of Strasburg in the first inning which tied the game at two. Luckily, Strasburg was able to work out of the jam by getting Bregman to ground out to short for a short 6-4 putout.
Top of the Third: Score 2-2
Adam Eaton took a look at three pitches, two for strikes, before flying out to center to lead off Washington’s half of the third. Rendon quickly followed that with a hard ground ball to Jose Altuve who was playing behind the second base bag. Juan Soto continued his hot World Series start with a double to the right field corner but Howie Kendrick ended the inning after falling behind in the count and flew out to center.
Justin Verlander has settled in after his shaky start allowing only two hits since Rendon’s double in the first.
Bottom of the Second: Score 2-2
The Astros were also quiet during their half of the inning which started with a hard-liner from lefty Yordan Alvarez which was grabbed by Asdrubal Cabrera who was playing in short right field in the overshift. Carlos Correa and Robinson Chirinos both struck out to end the inning which brought Strasburg’s strikeout total to three.
Top of the Second: Score 2-2
Zimmerman started the Nats half of the second the same way Cabrera ended the first. With a strikeout. Kurt Suzuki roped a single between a shifted second baseman Jose Altuve and shortstop Carlos Correa. The Nats were quiet for the rest of the inning after Victor Robles struck out and Trea Turner flew out to right field on a perfectly exectued slider by Justin Verlander to end the inning.
Bottom of the First: Score 2-2
Stephen Strasburg looked locked in after striking out the Astros’ leadoff hitter and Professional World Series Home Run Hitter George Springer but allowed a double to Jose Altuve. With the Nats starting Kurt Suzuki behind the plate, the Nats obviously take a hit defensively at catcher but Suzuki showed those doubters up and threw Altuve out as he attempted to steal third.
With two outs, Michael Brantley hit a line drive back up the middle. Okay so what a two out single. No big deal, right? Wrong. After struggling through much of the postseason, Alex Bregman is showing signs of life and homered on a two-strike curveball that hung in the middle of the zone to even the score at two.
Top of the First: Score 2-2.
Leadoff hitter Trea Turner got the party started by drawing a four pitch walk against Game One starter Justin Verlander. Adam Eaton then slapped a fastball that stayed up-and-away down the third baseline for a double. After ramping up and swinging at a fastball above his hands, Anthony Rendon calmed down and ripped a two-run double off of the left field wall to give Washington a 2-0 lead and silenced the Houston crowd early.
The party died as quickly as it began. With Rendon standing on second and no outs, the Nats were unable to bring him home after Juan Soto and Asdrubal Cabrera struck out and a Howie Kendrick fly out.