After losing the first two at home, the Houston Astros just took three in a row on the road against the Washington Nationals in the World Series. It’s over.
Just when everybody thought the Baby Shark Washington Nationals were going to win the World Series, the better team in the Houston Astros stopped being cute and started getting real. Houston might have had a problem back home at Minute Maid Park in the first two games of this best-of-seven series, but simply refused to lose in the nation’s capital this October.
The Astros have gone from being in a dreadful 0-2 hole after dropping their first two 2019 World Series contests back in Houston to being on the verge of winning their second league championship in three seasons. Oh, how the tables have turned.
Houston took Games 3, 4 and now 5 in Nationals Park, preventing Washingtonians from getting to enjoy their World Series home victory in 86 years. The last time a D.C.-based MLB franchise won a Fall Classic game at home, the then-Washington Senators got it done in 1933. Maybe next October that streak falls to the wayside? It just won’t be in 2019, as that ship has sailed.
For now, Houston takes a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series and all the momentum back to its home ballpark, needing just one more win to become World Series champions a second time. With Justin Verlander back on the mound in Game 6 and likely Zack Greinke in a Game 7 if necessary, you have to like the Astros’ chances at storming the pitcher’s mound in celebration yet again.
After surrendering 12 runs in Game 2’s home loss, the bats went silent in Washington. The Nationals scored one run apiece in their three World Series home games. That’s it. While the road team has won all five World Series games this season, the Nationals have gone from riding an eight-game postseason winning streak to being losers of three straight, now facing elimination.
It’s not just superior pitching that has guided the Astros back on top in this series. The offense has held up its end of the bargain in all the contests so far. Houston has scored at least three runs in every game of this series and has put at least four across in four of five, including all three road victories in the nation’s capital. Offensive production is keying the Astros’ World Series turnaround.
So while we have seen crazier things happen before in October, we’re looking at the 2019 Nationals much like we did with the 1996 Atlanta Braves, a team that won its first two World Series games before falling to a Junior Circuit team in the best-of-seven slate.
The Nationals can certainly win a game in Houston, but not two, as Houston hasn’t won its last game at home this season. One more win makes the Astros champions and Houston will find a way to get it done. With that raucous crowd in the Astros’ favor, it’ll be hard for the emotions to not carry them in either Game 6 or Game 7 if this series calls for it. So sorry it’s over, Washington.