With a walk-off, two-run home run by José Altuve, and a 6-4 win over the New York Yankees, the Houston Astros took the ALCS, 4-2, and earned a spot in the 2019 World Series with the Washington Nationals.
Tuesday evening at 8:08 PM in Minute Maid Park, the Astros and Nationals will start a best-of seven series, and the 115th Fall Classic will come to the nation’s capital for the first time since 1933 on Friday, October 25th for Games 3-5.
Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez told reporters on Friday, as the NL Champions waited to find out which they would be playing, that he wanted to stay focused and then make some big decisions on the roster once he knew which team would take the American League crown.
But whichever team it was, he said, the Nationals would be ready, and well-rested, having swept the St. Louis Cardinals in four games in the NLCS, which concluded last Tuesday in D.C.
“This is why we do what we do all year,” Martinez said of moving on the World Series.
“It’s a grind, and to get to where we’re at right now, that’s what we work for all year, so I told the boys, I’m super-proud of you, but this is far from over. We got this far, so why stop now, and they’re excited.”
Martinez and GM Mike Rizzo have all-but said that it will by Max Scherzer starting in Game 1 on Tuesday night, though there has been no official announcement from the team as of yet.
“I assume we would go with Max [Scherzer] one, and [Stephen Strasburg] two,” Rizzo told 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Sports Junkies on Thursday.
“I would think, maybe [Patrick] Corbin too, but we’ll get you that information, but that’s not going to be breaking news when it happens. We get to set up our rotation the way we want.
“It may matter which team we play, what we do, but we’ve been advancing the American League throughout, that’s just the way we do things.”
“It’s not just about Game 1,” Martinez explained, “... it’s about Games 4-5-6-7, and there on, so we’ve got to make sure we prepare ourselves for seven games, and that we do our due diligence.”
Houston is now 7-2 at Minute Maid Park in the postseason this year, after they went 60-21 in their home park in the regular season, becoming the first team since 1998 to win 60 games at home in a season, and including last night’s win, the Astros are now 37-9 in the last 46 at home.
Washington finished the regular season 43-38 on the road (50-31 at home), and so far in the postseason, they’ve won four of five games away from Nationals Park.