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

Another tough loss for Houston. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images.

The Houston Texans lost again as their road game ineptitude continues. Former Texans stars DeAndre Hopkins and J.J. Watt helped the Cardinals to the 31-5 victory.

1. The lack of talent is getting exposed earlier and earlier each week. The Texans have seen games slip away faster and faster from them each week. The team is overmatched almost everywhere.

2. Penalties remain a problem for the Texans. It seems like clockwork the team gets an illegal motion or illegal formation each week. Jordan Akins torpedoed a drive with a chop block. Max Scharping erased a positive play with a hold.

3. Davis Mills had some solid moments, but again, this team isn't good. It is hard to assess Mills with this team. He's making quicker decisions but he doesn't have the time or the players to make big plays.

4. The offensive line stinks. The interior of the line is still a mess and with Laremy Tunsil down the edges find themselves shaky as well. The running backs don't block well. The blocking tight ends don't block well. It is bad football in what was supposed to be a much-improved unit.

5. Desmond King was the best returner in the preseason. The team elected to give Andre Roberts an opportunity for a few games, but with his departure, the duties went to King. King is the most successful returner the Texans have had in a long while. Yes, it is that clear after just one game.

6. Max Scharping was benched in favor of Justin McCray. McCray produced similar levels of success. Scharping was benched last year for a journey-man veteran as well. The former second-round pick isn't getting it done.

7. Speaking of former second-round picks, Lonnie Johnson had an interception. That was the highlight of his day. Otherwise, Johnson frequently has me asking "what is Lonnie Johnson doing?" The former second-round pick at cornerback has been less than impressive at safety. Johnson seems to frequently be out of position or making the wrong choice in coverage.

8. DeAndre Hopkins had a solid day against the team that traded him away. Hopkins hauled in seven catches for 53 yards and a touchdown. After he scored, Hopkins looked to bring his hands together and mimic a prayer motion. I don't anticipate this was a nod to Arian Foster but perhaps could this have been about Jack Easterby?

9. The Texans had some sacks, but little of that action came when the game was close. Jonathan Greenard added two sacks to his total. The success Greenard is having is frustrating when you consider he couldn't get on the field last season. Charles Omenihu returned to action and had some pressures for the defense.

10. During the game reports surfaced that the Panthers might be interested in trading for Deshaun Watson. It was also reported by the Houston Chronicle Watson had vetoed a trade to Philadelphia, so the Eagles will not be involved in the Watson sweepstakes. The Panthers can only trade two first-round picks. The Miami Dolphins have three first-round picks they can trade for Deshaun Watson.

11. The Texans decided on a "culture" head coach in David Culley. His team has looked lifeless on the road. While the Texans took their beating, the Lions gave it their all against a good Rams team. Detroit is winless, but they play harder and better than the Texans. It grows clearer each week "culture" is meaningless if the team can't win.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome