Houston can take control of the series with a win

Astros playoff report presented by APG&E: World Series Game 5 Preview

Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

After two games, the World Series seemed lost for the Houston Astros. They had lost two games at home with their best pitchers on the mound, and their potent offense that dominated the regular season looked lost at the plate. Now, after getting two huge wins in D.C., the Astros are back in the series with a chance to take control if they can win two fo the next three. Here is a quick rundown of Game 5 of the fall classic that will take place Sunday night:

Game Facts

When: Sunday, 7:07 p.m Central.

Where: Nationals Park - Washington, D.C.

TV: FOX.

Streaming: Fox Sports App.

Pitching matchup: Cole vs Scherzer.

Series: tied 2-2.

Series schedule

Date & Time (Central)LocationPitching matchup
Game 1Nationals 5, Astros 4Minute Maid Park, Houston TXCole (L) vs Scherzer (W)
Game 2Nationals 12, Astros 3Minute Maid Park, Houston TXVerlander (L) vs Strasburg (W)
Game 3Astros 4, Nationals 1Nationals Park, Washington D.C.Greinke (ND) vs Sanchez (L)
Game 4Astros 8, Nationals 1Nationals Park, Washington D.C.Urquidy (W) vs Corbin (L)
Game 5Sunday 10/27, 7:07 PMNationals Park, Washington D.C.Cole vs Scherzer
Game 6Tuesday, 10/29, 7:07 PMMinute Maid Park, Houston TXVerlander vs Strasburg
Game 7*Wednesday 10/30, 7:08 PMMinute Maid Park, Houston TXGreinke vs Sanchez+

* If necessary
+ Projected Starters

Game Storylines

A chance for the Astros to reverse the Game 1 loss

Washington came out of the gate in the World Series firing, and that resulted in a Game 1 win that shocked many. After starting the postseason 3-0 with three dominant starts, Cole looked shaken as he would allow five runs in his start against the Nationals at Minute Maid Park. Those five runs would prove to be the difference in a night where the Astros would come up one run short in the 5-4 loss.

Max Scherzer, meanwhile, allowed just two runs over five innings of work in a start that would earn him a win. Much has changed since the first game of this series, namely: the Astros look like the team that won 107 games in the regular season and won the ALCS against arguably the second-best team in the league. They will have to do better on both sides of the ball in Game 5 to put themselves in position to win their second World Series in three years; a dominant start from Gerrit Cole that goes deep into the game, and an improved offense that gets after and knocks out Scherzer early.

Houston has to keep the offense rolling

If they're going to get to Scherzer and knock him out early, the Astros will have to repeat the success they've had in Games 3 and 4. Several players have stepped up and contributed in the two wins and can easily be the difference in Game 5 with a few swings of the bat. Jose Altuve has been incredible in the postseason, getting a hit in all but one of Houston's games. Michael Brantley has had two great games, going 5-for-9 in D.C. to help spark the revitalized offense that has tied the series.

Then there's Alex Bregman. In an unusual slump in the 2019 postseason, he delivered one of the biggest hits of the series with the grand slam in Game 4, which blew open the game that would eventually be an Astros win. Him getting on a roll and coming through with big moments like that could be the difference in the final games of this series, so Houston needs him to stay loose and confident. While it will be no easy task against Scherzer, the key for Game 5 will be once again getting an early lead to control the momentum of the game, so look for Houston to try and manufacture some runs in the top of the first to quiet the crowd in D.C.

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.

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