Houston has a huge chance to tie the series
Astros playoff report presented by APG&E: World Series Game 4 Preview
With an impressive showing in the first game in D.C. on Friday in World Series Game 3, the Astros were able to get back into the series and avoid going down 3-0 and instead made it a 2-1 deficit. That makes Game 4 pivotal for both teams, as a victory for the Nationals puts them back in the driver's seat, while a win for Houston would give them the upper hand for the rest of the series. Here is a quick look at Saturday's crucial game in this series:
When: Saturday, 7:07 p.m Central.
Where: Nationals Park - Washington, D.C.
Streaming: Fox Sports App.
Pitching matchup: Urquidy vs Corbin.
Series: Nationals lead 2-1.
|Date & Time (Central)||Location||Pitching matchup|
|Game 1||Nationals 5, Astros 4||Minute Maid Park, Houston TX||Cole (L) vs Scherzer (W)|
|Game 2||Nationals 12, Astros 3||Minute Maid Park, Houston TX||Verlander (L) vs Strasburg (W)|
|Game 3||Astros 4, Nationals 1||Nationals Park, Washington D.C.||Greinke (ND) vs Sanchez (L)|
|Game 4||Saturday 10/26, 7:07 PM||Nationals Park, Washington D.C.||Urquidy vs Corbin|
|Game 5||Sunday 10/27, 7:07 PM||Nationals Park, Washington D.C.||Cole vs Scherzer+|
|Game 6*||Tuesday, 10/29, 7:07 PM||Minute Maid Park, Houston TX||Verlander vs Strasburg+|
|Game 7*||Wednesday 10/30, 7:08 PM||Minute Maid Park, Houston TX||Greinke vs Sanchez+|
* If necessary
+ Projected Starters
A massive opportunity for Houston
As stated earlier, this game is crucial on both sides. If Houston loses, they are down 3-1 and will have to win the final three games of the series. However, if they can steal another game on the road, then the odds shift back to being in their favor in a big way. Despite the horrible start to the series by losing the first two games at home, that's what this series could become: a best-of-three.
While the first two starts with Cole and Verlander on the mound did not go their way, they remain the two aces you want to have at your disposal in a best-of-three situation. They've already won their way to another start with Cole; now, they need to push the series back to Houston for at least another game to get to Verlander. With that hard-earned opportunity on the horizon, the Astros should do all they can to continue the momentum they created in Game 3 to stay in the win column.
How deep can Urquidy go?
Before they can start thinking about coming back to Houston with a chance to win the series, though, they'll have to take care of business on Saturday in what is expected to be a bullpen day. It starts with Jose Urquidy, who the Astros have given the nod as the starter in the game. After being in consideration to start ALCS Game 6, Houston's last bullpen day, the Astros instead sent Brad Peacock to the mound to start the game. Peacock would provide 1.2 innings in that game while allowing a run, while later in the game, Urquidy would impress with 2.2 innings while allowing just one run on a solo homer.
While the Astros will have all hands on deck in terms of their bullpen, it would be a massive benefit if Urquidy can come out hot and eat up several innings and into the middle innings or beyond. Not only would that improve their chances of winning Game 4, but it would also help keep their bullpen usage manageable for the rest of the series behind starts by Cole, Verlander, and Greinke, depending on how far the series goes.
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.