Houston will look to Verlander to try and even the series
Astros playoff report presented by APG&E: World Series Game 2 Preview
Coming in as heavy favorites to win the series, and with their hottest pitcher on the mound at home in Game 1, the Game 1 loss by the Astros to the Nationals is a disappointment. However, the Astros are no strangers to this situation, having experienced a similar situation in ALCS Game 1 against the Yankees.
Just like in that series, they have Justin Verlander at home in Game 2 to even the series and shift the momentum back their way. Here is a quick look at World Series Game 2:
When: Wednesday, 7:07 p.m Central.
Where: Minute Maid Park - Houston, Texas.
Streaming: Fox Sports App.
Pitching matchup: Verlander vs Strasburg.
Series: Nationals lead 1-0.
|Date & Time (Central)||Location||Pitching matchup|
|Game 1||Nationals 5, Astros 4||Minute Maid Park, Houston TX||Cole vs Scherzer|
|Game 2||Wednesday 10/23, 7:07 PM||Minute Maid Park, Houston TX||Verlander vs Strasburg|
|Game 3||Friday 10/25, 7:07 PM||Nationals Park, Washington D.C.||Greinke+ vs Sanchez+|
|Game 4||Saturday 10/26, 7:07 PM||Nationals Park, Washington D.C.||TBD vs TBD|
|Game 5*||Sunday 10/27, 7:07 PM||Nationals Park, Washington D.C.||TBD vs TBD|
|Game 6*||Tuesday, 10/29, 7:07 PM||Minute Maid Park, Houston TX||TBD vs TBD|
|Game 7*||Wednesday 10/30, 7:08 PM||Minute Maid Park, Houston TX||TBD vs TBD|
* If necessary
+ Projected Starters
Another terrific pitching matchup
Although the Game 1 matchup between Gerrit Cole and Max Scherzer ended up yielding more runs than predicted, Game 2 offers another chance for two high-caliber pitchers to hold the opposing lineup at bay. The Nationals will look to Stephen Strasburg to try and steal both road games in Houston before going back to Nationals Park. Including a three-inning appearance out of the bullpen in the Wild Card game, Strasburg has thrown 22 innings in the postseason while allowing five runs (four earned). He is, however, coming off his best start of the bunch, a seven-inning shutout performance against the Cardinals in the NLCS, where he struck out twelve.
Houston will trust the ball with their potential Cy Young winner and co-ace, Justin Verlander. Unlike Strasburg, who is coming off his best start, Verlander will be looking to right the ship after a horrible first inning in the Bronx in ALCS Game 5 where he allowed four runs on two homers to the Yankees, which would ultimately be the undoing of the Astros in that game. Verlander did leave that game with something to build on, finishing his next six innings scoreless. He will look to have a game more like his first of this postseason, a seven-inning one-hit outing against the Rays in ALDS Game 1.
Houston must do more with their opportunities
While the Nationals scoring five runs on Gerrit Cole was undoubtedly impressive and ultimately earned them the win in World Series Game 1, it was Houston being unable to take advantage of critical opportunities that left them coming up short in the game. When it was all said and done, Houston was 3-for-12 with runners in scoring position, leaving eleven runners on base, which is monumental in a game that would be decided by just one run.
On the positive side, the Astros had two big healthy signs at the plate in the loss on Tuesday with George Springer looking like the offensive force he was in the 2017 World Series, along with Yordan Alvarez, who went 2-for-3 with a walk in a possibly slum-breaking game. To take Game 2 and even the series, they will have to convert more scoring opportunities.
Be sure to check SportsMap after the final out for an in-depth recap of the game, and follow me on Twitter for updates and reactions throughout each playoff game: @ChrisCampise
The Astros playoff report is presented by APG&E.