Astros unable to finish it in Game 6

Astros playoff report presented by APG&E: Houston dominated by Stephen Strasburg as World Series heads to a decisive Game 7

Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

After dominating in D.C. to take all three games on the road to take a 3-2 lead in the series, the Astros returned home to try and finish the series in front of their home crowd with Justin Verlander on the mound. Once again, though, the road team would come out ahead as the Nationals would get the better of Houston's pitching, winning 7-2 and forcing a Game 7. Here is a recap of the game:

Final Score: Nationals 7, Astros 2.

Series: tied 3-3.

Winning Pitcher: Stephen Strasburg.

Losing Pitcher: Justin Verlander.

Nationals score first, but Springer and Bregman respond

It was the Nationals who would strike first in Game 6, getting a leadoff single, moving the runner over on a sacrifice, then getting an RBI-single by Anthony Rendon to put Houston down 1-0 in the top of the first. The Astros fought back immediately, starting with a leadoff double by George Springer.

He moved to third on a wild pitch, then scored on a sacrifice fly by Jose Altuve, tying the game 1-1. After a strikeout by Michael Brantley on a questionable called third strike, Alex Bregman gave Houston their first lead of the night by crushing a solo home run to the Crawford Boxes, making it a 2-1 Houston advantage.

World Series drought for Verlander continues

The 2-1 lead held through the early goings of the game, with both Justin Verlander and Stephen Strasburg settling in. Verlander, however, was dealing with long innings that had his pitch count rising and leading him to an early exit. He entered the top of the fifth inning already at 75 pitches, and the Nationals would take advantage.

Washington would get two solo home runs against him in the inning, first a one-out shot by Adam Eaton that tied the game, then a go-ahead moonshot by Juan Soto into the upper deck that gave the Nationals the lead back at 3-2. Verlander would finish the inning, but that would be it for him in this World Series, and leaving down a run would mean he would have to wait at least one more year to get his first win in a World Series start. His final line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 2 HR.

Washington extends their lead after a controversial play

It was Brad Peacock taking over for Verlander starting in the top of the sixth, and he would get a quick inning before returning in the seventh. He would allow a leadoff single, then after a very controversial play where Trea Turner was called out at first by interference while running to the bag. Instead of runners on second and third with no outs, it was instead a runner on first with one out.

Will Harris would come in to try and get through the inning and continue his incredible stretch of playoff dominance but instead would get tagged with a two-run home run by Anthony Rendon to extend Washington's lead to 5-2 before he would get through it. Ryan Pressly was next out of the bullpen for the top of the eighth and retired the Nationals in order.

One more game to decide it all

Unlike Verlander, who exited after five innings and a high pitch count, Stephen Strasburg was making quick work of the Astros, which allowed him to stay in the game to start the bottom of the eighth. He would get through that inning as well, sending the 5-2 game to the ninth.

Chris Devenski would pitch in the top half, but he too would suffer runs as Anthony Rendon notched more RBIs with a two-RBI double to blow the game open at 7-2. That would be the final score after Strasburg would get one more out before Sean Doolittle would come in to get the final two outs.

Up Next: One last game. World Series Game 7 will be Wednesday and start at 7:08 PM Central. After being scratched from Game 5, Max Scherzer appears healthy again and will be called on by Washington to start for the Nationals. Houstons has not yet named their starter, but the likely candidate will be Zack Greinke.

The Astros playoff report is presented by APG&E.

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

Rockets get another much-needed win. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images.

The Houston Rockets went on a redemption tour by beating the Detroit Pistons and Dallas Mavericks. But the most pivotal win was against the Mavericks as the Rockets finally showed their true potential. John Wall finally made his return from his injury hiatus and played with a lot of energy. DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Gordon combined for 61 points. It was great to see Stephan Silas crack a smile as he was able to beat his former team.

The Rockets clearly missed Wall during his eight-game absense. This season, the Rockets are a .500 team with Wall on the court. Wall is the Rockets' floor general that leads, constructs, and also pushes his teammates to become better.

Wall only played 21 minutes in the 133-108 win over the Mavericks but still had eight assists. Even though Wall only had 7 points, his presence was still felt by finding his teammates for open looks beyond the perimeter. Wall made sure Cousins and Gordon got a plethora of touches. He called multiple actions, so they got open looks from three, which was mainly Gordon. Gordon and Cousins' struggles have been similar but with Wall on the court, they were successful against the Mavericks. According to NBA Stats, Wall posted a 111 offensive rating with the starters versus the Mavericks, which included Gordon and Cousins.

"He's the engine to this team. He gets everybody going. He makes the game easy," Cousins told a reporter after the game. "The pressure that he constantly puts on the defense is a tough thing to deal with."

Gordon has struggled all season long with three-point shooting and relied on his slashing abilities. Saturday night, Gordon made six three pointers against the Mavericks, which was 66 percent from beyond the perimeter. Gordon increased his three-point percentage from 31 percent to 34.5 percent after Saturday night's game. Gordon's 33 points came from being able to attack the entire Mavericks' defense. Willy Cauley-Stein didn't stand a chance against Gordon as he was burned multiple times. Gordon's been a lifesaver for the Rockets in the last two games, and hopefully he maintains his play.

Cousins played fantastic against the Mavericks scoring 28 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. This is Cousins' first double-double with the Rockets this season. Cousins became the vintage player from the New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings. It was extremely fun watching Cousins push the ball up the court and aggressively snatch rebounds. Boogie shot 50 percent from behind the arc by making four three-pointers. He was dominant inside the paint as Cousins went 7/8 from the restricted area versus the Mavericks. This was the game Cousins needed after having a poor performance against the Pistons Friday night.

"It was really, really good. He did it all. He's a physical presence on both ends of the floor," as Silas said on Cousins' performance.

David Nwaba and Mason Jones were big factors off the Rockets' bench by having a combined total of 34 points together. Nwaba has been great in transition for the Rockets the entire season. Keep in mind that Nwaba is returning from an Achilles injury he suffered with his former team, the Brooklyn Nets. Nwaba has became a great defender, slasher, and is averaging a career-high nine points per game with the Rockets. He finished with 18 points on Saturday night versus the Mavericks.

Mason Jones has become a fan favorite of the Rockets because of his confidence. Silas is loving the usage of Jones off the bench but wants to find more minutes for him. Jones had a breakout performance versus the San Antonio Spurs with 24 points off 66 percent shooting from the field. He continues to get better with his reads from the point guard position. Jones' knowledge of running the offense has helped his efficiency on the court. He is never afraid to take clutch shots in pivotal moments of the game.

"To have a young kid who can come in and not be afraid of the moment, that's big. That's a tough position to be in as an undrafted rookie. I trust him. It's a good problem to have," Silas mentioned after the game. "He's showing me he's ready. He's a confident kid, and he should be. That's why he's good. He's not afraid of the moment, at all. He can get us organized, run plays, and score the basketball."

Hopefully, the Rockets can sustain their level of play when Victor Oladipo returns against the Washington Wizards, Tuesday. It will be interesting to watch Oladipo and Wall play in the same backcourt.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome