Astros sweep Nationals in D.C. behind Cole’s pitching, 3 homers. Take Nationals 7-1.

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Be honest. When the Astros got crushed in Game 2 of the World Series, 12-3, putting them down in the World Series down 2 games to 0 heading into Washington, did you think this Series would come back to Houston with the Astros up 3-2?

Did you think that after getting outscored 17-7 in Houston, that the Astros would turn it around and score 19 runs to the Nats’ 3 in Washington?

That’s right. The Nats scored 17 runs in games started by Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander in Houston, but only three runs total in these last three games in their own home.

Meanwhile, tonight the Astros scored early and often, six of their seven runs coming from three two-run homers.

Yordan Alvarez started the onslaught, hitting a ball near the end of his bat 405 feet to left-center field, scoring Yuli Gurriel, who had an infield single in front of him.

It was Alvarez’ only home run in the post-season, and after going 1-21 in the ALCS, Yordan is now 6-11 in the World Series. He was 3 for 3 today.

In the bottom of the second, the Nationals mounted their biggest threat of the night, only to be sorely disappointed without even a single run. Juan Soto and Howie Kendrick answered the Alvarez homer with back to back singles with no outs, runners on first and third. Don’t tell me, dear Astro fan, that you weren’t thinking that a return of bad Cole, Game 1, was in the offing. But Cole recovered, striking out Ryan Zimmerman, and getting Victor Robles to ground into a double play, completely snuffing out the only rally the Nats mounted all night.

In his seven innings pitched, Cole allowed only one other hit and two walks, while striking out seven. His 47 strikeouts in the post-season ties him with Cliff Lee for the most total strikeouts in a single post-season.

The Astros added two more runs in the fourth inning on this Carlos Correa homer, which scored Yordan Alvarez, who singled in front of Correa.

The Astros added a run in the eighth when George Springer opened the inning with a double, and scored on Gurriel’s single with two outs. Springer would account for two insurance runs in the ninth with his 433 foot homer, scoring Martin Maldonado.

The Nats’ only run came on a Juan Soto home run in the seventh inning, just inches beyond the glove of center-fielder Jake Marisnick.

Yuli Gurriel made another magnificent play at first base, reminiscent of the rare diving putout he made in Saturday’s game.

It was also another stellar night for the bullpen, as Joe Smith and Ryan Pressly held the Nats scoreless in the eighth and ninth innings respectively. Pressly’s performance was particularly heartening, as he flashed the pre-knee injury form that made him an All Star, but has largely eluded him in the post=season.

After almost a month of slumping bats, the Astros appear to be heading home firing on all cylinders, getting substantial production from every position player during the three games in Washington.

Justin Verlander takes the mound Tuesday against Stephen Strasburg, as the Astros hope to take the trophy in Game 6 on Tuesday in Houston.

Box score and videos HERE.

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William Metzger(bilbos)


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