So, in the end, did the moment overwhelm the Washington Nationals? Was the excitement of the first World Series in D.C. since 1933 too much? Or did they struggle to score runs. Or did Aníbal Sánchez not get low strikes called? Or were the Houston Astros desperate for a win that would get them in the series and playing (and managing) like it?
Or was it a little bit of all of the above? Or something else?
“I truly believe -- we had opportunities today,” Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez told reporters after the 4-1 loss.
“We’ve been doing really well, driving in runs with men in scoring position; it just didn’t happen today. So we’ll come back tomorrow.”
Martinez’s club went 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position and 12 left on base, but they still have two more to play in D.C. this weekend, and they have a 2-1 lead, after taking both games in Minute Maid Park earlier this week.
Astros’ manager A.J. Hinch was asked after last night’s win if the first three games have the participants in the 115th World Series thinking this is going be a long, competitive matchup for the Commissioner’s Trophy?
“Yeah, I never really thought any other way,” Hinch said.
“And I don’t think they would allow themselves to go down the path to think that this is just going to be a series where we would lay down after losing a couple of games.
“I think this World Series, these are two really, really talented teams, really good teams, really driven teams. It takes four wins, and no one has got it yet.”
Well, they’ve only played three games so far, but we know what he means.
As Hinch said between Games 2-3, however, the Nationals took the first two games of the series, so, “their view of the finish line is a little closer than ours.”
One big question for the Nationals going into Game 4? The health of Kurt Suzuki, who left the third game of the series after aggravating something in his hip while blocking a ball in the dirt.
“He felt something when he went to block that ball, in his hip flexor,” Martinez explained.
“We don’t know the severity of it yet. We’ll know more tomorrow. But it is his right hip flexor.
“His strength was good but we’ll see. I don’t know if he’s going to get an MRI, I haven’t talked to [trainer] Paul [Lessard] yet or not about it. But we’ll see how he feels tomorrow.”
Would Suzuki recover in time to play (or more likely back up), or would Yan Gomes get a start behind the plate with Patrick Corbin on the mound, after catching all of Corbin’s starts this season, and blocking all those sliders in the dirt?
HERE’S THE NATIONALS’ LINEUP FOR GAME 4 OF THE WORLD SERIES:
NOTES: It is Gomes behind the plate, though, as noted above, it could be as much about the fact that he’s worked with Corbin all season (and in the lefty’s two postseason starts).
Also, Howie Kendrick is back in at second base tonight, after Asdrúbal Cabrera started at second in the first two games in Houston (with Kendrick as the DH) and last night’s game under NL rules.