2019-10-29 by W.M.
Martinez Ejected as Nationals Lead Astros: Live Updates
The Houston Astros are hosting the Washington Nationals for Game 6 of the 2019 World Series. Houston holds a three-games-to-two advantage in the Series and could clinch its second championship in three years with a win tonight.
The game, scheduled for 8:07 p.m. Eastern, is being broadcast on Fox and can be streamed online at FoxSports.com.
8th Inning: Pressly Tames the Nationals
After an eventful seventh inning, the eighth could not have been quieter.
Ryan Pressly came in as Houston’s fourth pitcher of the night. He got Howie Kendrick to ground out to third and then struck out Asdrubal Cabrera and Ryan Zimmerman to end the inning, catching Zimmerman looking at a 94-mile-per-hour fastball that was low in the zone.
In the bottom half of the inning, Jose Altuve hit a grounder to third and was just barely thrown out at first on a strong throw from Anthony Rendon. Michael Brantley grounded out sharply to second, and Strasburg got out of the inning when Alex Bregman popped out to third.
7th Inning: Rendon Homers; Martinez Is Ejected
In a huge swing of emotions, the Nationals were seemingly dealt a major blow on a controversial call, and then responded to that controversy with a two-run homer by Anthony Rendon that stretched their lead to 5-2.
Yan Gomes led off the inning with a single to right off Brad Peacock but that’s when things got weird. Trea Turner bounced a ball back to the pitcher and on a close play at first, he ran right into Yuli Gurriel’s glove, jarring it free and sending the ball down the line in right field.
Gomes advanced to third and Turner ran to second, but Sam Holbrook, the home plate umpire, called Turner out for running too far inside the baseline and obstructing Gurriel’s ability to make a play. Turner appeared to be fairly centered on the line as he approached the bag, and the questionable call drew major ire from Manager Dave Martinez and from Turner. After an excruciatingly long replay review with M.L.B. officials in New York, the call was confirmed.
Will Harris relieved Brad Peacock and needed just one pitch to retire Adam Eaton on a pop-up to third, but Anthony Rendon broke things open a bit with a two-run homer to left that made it a 5-2 game.
Harris then got out of the inning by getting Juan Soto to line out to first.
Between innings, Martinez approached the umpiring crew to continue arguing his point. He was repeatedly restrained but still managed to get himself thrown out of the game. Fox’s Ken Rosenthal reported that the Nationals are now playing this game under protest, though there is some question as to what basis they would have to protest.
Stephen Strasburg came out for the bottom half of the inning, having sat on the bench for quite a while through a long top half of the inning, but showed no rust. He struck out Robinson Chirinos, got Josh Reddick to fly out to center, and ended things by getting George Springer to fly out to right.
6th Inning: Verlander Exits; Strasburg Keeps Dealing
Houston is into its bullpen and Stephen Strasburg is still cruising. That’s a bad sign for the Astros.
Justin Verlander had faltered in the fifth, and was already up to 93 pitches, so Manager A.J. Hinch replaced his ace with Brad Peacock to start the sixth. The right-handed Peacock did his job well. He got Asdrubal Cabrera to ground out to first ahead of two straight strikeouts, both of which ended with a called strike three. Ryan Zimmerman, the first of the two strikeouts, argued loudly with the call on a pitch that was borderline low, while Victor Robles simply trotted back to the dugout after failing to make an effort at a well-placed two-seamer.
Verlander no longer has a shot at winning a World Series game for the first time, but if Houston can tie the game or take a lead at any point, the future Hall of Famer could avoid having his career mark in the Series drop to 0-6.
In the bottom half of the inning, Alex Bregman legged out an infield single on a chopper to shortstop, where Trea Turner was fielding too deeply to make a play. Strasburg then very nearly got two different double plays, with Yuli Gurriel narrowly beating a throw to first on what would have been a 6-4-3 double-play, and Yordan Alvarez ending up with a fielder’s choice on a comebacker that Strasburg could not quite handle but Turner was able to throw to first to salvage one out. Strasburg then finished things off by striking out Carlos Correa to end the inning.
5th Inning: Two Blasts Give Nationals the Lead
It is a whole new ballgame after Adam Eaton and Juan Soto both homered off Justin Verlander, giving Washington a 3-2 lead. Stephen Strasburg flirted with giving the lead back, but held strong in a game that is suddenly favoring the Nationals.
With one out by way of a Trea Turner pop-out, Eaton gave his team new life by hammering a Verlander slider 381 feet to left.
Then Anthony Rendon flied out to right before Soto absolutely crushed a ball 413 feet into the second deck in right field. The ball came screaming off his bat at 111 miles per hour, and Soto carried his bat all the way to first, in response to Alex Bregman having done the same thing after a solo homer in the first.
Soto, at 21, is now the youngest player to have three home runs in a single World Series.
Verlander ended things by getting Howie Kendrick to fly out to right, but Washington had taken a lead for the first time since the first inning.
Given a lead, Strasburg struck out Robinson Chirinos but then allowed a single to Josh Reddick who lofted a ball into right over the head of Asdrubal Cabrera at second base. That brought up George Springer, who laced a double into left that sent Reddick to third.
With runners at second and third and just one out, Strasburg made Jose Altuve look foolish, getting him to swing helplessly at a curveball in the dirt for a strikeout. Strasburg then got out of the inning by inducing a grounder from Michael Brantley that Turner was in perfect position to field by way of the shift.
4th Inning: Verlander’s Pitch Count Climbing
A disparity in pitch count between Justin Verlander and Stephen Strasburg could lead to Houston going to its bullpen earlier than Washington in what is still a 2-1 game in the Astros’ favor. Though a wild stretch from Strasburg with two outs in the fourth closed that gap considerably.
The Nationals got two quick baserunners by way of Howie Kendrick singling to left and Ryan Zimmerman walking — with Asdrubal Cabrera popping out to the catcher in foul territory in between their at-bats. Victor Robles couldn’t stop his bat on a checked swing, giving Verlander his third strikeout of the game, and Yan Gomes flew out to deep left on the first pitch he saw.
Verlander is at 75 pitches.
In the bottom half of the inning, Strasburg got Michael Brantley to ground out to first and retired Alex Bregman on a high pop-up to Ryan Zimmerman. With two outs, Yuli Gurriel and Yordan Alvarez drew back-to-back walks, driving up Strasburg’s pitch count some, but Carlos Correa struck out to end the inning, stranding both baserunners.
Strasburg is at 55 pitches.
3rd Inning: Offense Is at a Premium
The first inning is a distant memory, with Justin Verlander and Stephen Strasburg absolutely dealing.
Verlander needed just four pitches to dispatch Yan Gomes (groundout to second) and Trea Turner (fly to center). He walked Adam Eaton, bringing Anthony Rendon to the plate, and after a lengthy 10-pitch at-bat, Verlander walked him as well. But the two-out jam did not last long, as Verlander got Juan Soto to ground out to second to end the threat.
Strasburg started off the bottom half of inning by striking out Josh Reddick on a changeup that Reddick nearly toppled over trying to connect with. George Springer grounded out harmlessly to third and Jose Altuve grounded out to Asdrubal Cabrera in shallow center field to end the inning.
2nd Inning: Verlander and Strasburg Keep It Quiet
Both aces appeared to be settling in nicely in the second, with Stephen Strasburg countering Justin Verlander’s overpowering effort with one defined by efficiency.
In the top half of the inning, Verlander struck out Asdrubal Cabrera with a 95-mile-per-hour fastball, got Ryan Zimmerman to fly out to left and then finished the 1-2-3 inning with a five-pitch strikeout of Victor Robles.
In the bottom half, Strasburg quickly retired Yordan Alvarez, Carlos Correa and Robinson Chirinos, all on groundouts. He needed just seven pitches.
1st Inning: Both Teams Trade Leads
In a battle of ace starters, both faltered some in the first, but Stephen Strasburg fared worse and the Nationals are trailing the Astros, 2-1.
With Justin Verlander pitching for Houston in the top of the first, Washington’s leadoff batter, Trea Turner, was called out at first after a soft grounder to third — only for a review to prove that he had beaten Alex Bregman’s throw. Adam Eaton executed a perfect sacrifice bunt, sending Turner to second, and that extra base proved crucial as Anthony Rendon took advantage of the shift, singling to center through a gigantic opening at second base, bringing Turner home for a 1-0 Washington lead.
Juan Soto flied out to left for the second out and Howie Kendrick popped out to second to end the inning.
Given a lead to work with, Strasburg couldn’t hold it. George Springer doubled to lead things off and got to third by way of a wild pitch. He easily scored, sliding headfirst mostly for style, on a sacrifice fly to left by Jose Altuve, making it 1-1.
After Michael Brantley struck out looking on a beautiful changeup from Strasburg, Alex Bregman made it a 2-1 game with a 355-foot homer to left. Yuli Gurriel also hit a ball deep to left, but Juan Soto tracked it down for the third out.
Soto appeared to have injured himself at least slightly on the play.
1. George Springer CF
2. Jose Altuve 2B
3. Michael Brantley LF
4. Alex Bregman 3B
5. Yuli Gurriel 1B
6. Yordan Alvarez DH
7. Carlos Correa SS
8. Robinson Chirinos C
9. Josh Reddick RF
Justin Verlander P
1. Trea Turner SS
2. Adam Eaton RF
3. Anthony Rendon 3B
4. Juan Soto LF
5. Howie Kendrick DH
6. Asdrubal Cabrera 2B
7. Ryan Zimmerman 1B
8. Victor Robles CF
9. Yan Gomes C
Stephen Strasburg P
Keys to the Game