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World Series Game 3 Preview: Do-or-die for Houston?

washington nationalsHouston, 107-55 in the regular season, was the biggest World Series favorite in 12 years, dating back to the Boston-Colorado matchup in 2007 in which the Sox, as expected, swept the Rockies.

At the moment, the Astros are on the other side of a possible sweep, with the NL wild card, Washington, up 2-0 after taking Games 1 and 2 in Minute Maid Park, beating the Astros’ pair of aces, Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander.

Game 3 has to feel like a do-or-die for Houston, which will send (18-5, 2.93 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 8.1K/9 in 2019) to the mound to try to get back in the series.

Greinke went 8-1 with a 3.02 ERA in 10 regular-season starts in Houston after being acquired from Arizona in a trade-deadline deal, but he’s struggled in the 2019 postseason, going 0-2 with a 6.43 ERA.

He was the losing pitcher in the Astros’ 10-3 ALDS Game 3 loss to Tampa Bay, giving up six runs in three and two-thirds innings, and then took the loss in the 7-0 ALCS Game 1 loss to New York, giving up three runs on seven hits in six innings in that one.

His most recent outing didn’t result in a win in his ledger, but Greinke was able to work around a 28-pitch first inning to get to the fifth in what turned into an 8-3 Houston win in ALCS Game 4 to put the Astros on the verge of a World Series berth.

Before landing in Houston, Greinke did face Washington in the 2019 regular season, putting in seven and a third innings of two-hit ball in a 5-0 Diamondbacks win on June 13, which seems like an eternity ago, if only because that loss dropped the Nats to 31-37 on the season, a playoff afterthought at best.

Greinke will be going on seven days rest in his World Series start. Washington’s Anibal Sanchez (11-8, 3.85 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 7.3 K/9) hasn’t pitched since Game 1 of the NLCS, way back on Oct. 11, in which he took a no-hitter into the eighth inning of a 2-0 Nats win over St. Louis.

In two starts in the 2019 postseason, Sanchez is 1-0 with a 0.71 ERA, and he’s gone 12-2 since returning from a stint on the IL on May 29.

Nats hitters vs. Greinke

  • Trea Turner: 1-for-6, 1 K
  • Adam Eaton: 2-for-5
  • Anthony Rendon: 1-for-12, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K
  • Juan Soto: 0-for-3
  • Asdrubal Cabrera: 16-for-37, 3 2B, 1 3B, 3 RBI, 6 BB, 2 K
  • Ryan Zimmerman: 3-for-9, 3 K
  • Kurt Suzuki: 7-for-24, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K
  • Victor Robles: 0-for-2

Astros hitters vs. Sanchez

  • George Springer: 3-for-5, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K
  • Jose Altuve: 4-for-11, 1 HR, 4 RBI
  • Michael Brantley: 9-for-30, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 1 K
  • Alex Bregman: no career ABs
  • Yuli Gurriel: no career ABs
  • Carlos Correa: no career ABs
  • Robinson Chirinos: 4-for-7, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K
  • Josh Reddick: 3-for-13, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K

Story by Chris Graham


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