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Wire Taps: Nationals and Astros down to best-of-three World Series; Max Scherzer starts vs ‘Stros tonight + more Nats links...

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news before the start of Game 5 of the World Series.

World Series - Houston Astros v Washington Nationals - Game Three Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Your morning Nationals links are a little late, because they can’t seem to play these All-Star Games in under around four hours. Last night’s game took 3:48, with a seventh inning that seemed like it went on forever. When it was all over and done with, the World Series was a three-game series, with one more tonight in the nation’s capital and two more in Houston.

“We’ve been here pretty much all year,” Davey Martinez told reporters after the Astros tied the series up at 2-2 with last night’s win in Nationals Park.

“So now it’s the best two out of three; right? We’ve got two of our big horses going in the next two games. We just come back.”

Like, “Stay in the fight,” or something.

NATS BEAT:

Nationals bullpen again leaves Dave Martinez with no good choices - (WaPost)
"Dave Martinez faces a daunting task in managing his bullpen, which contains two trusted relievers and a gaggle of uncertainties and arsonists."

Nats lose edge after 'tough lineup' stings Corbin - (MLB.com)
"In no game during this World Series would the advantage in starters be more pronounced than in Game 4, with the Astros starting rookie Jose Urquidy as the beginning of a bullpen game, while the Nationals countered with Patrick Corbin..."

Juan Soto, Anthony Rendon are struggling vs. Astros, and so is the Nationals offense - (WaPost)
"The heart of the Nationals’ lineup has gone cold since coming home — and Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander are lined up next."

World Series Game 4: Nats bullpen struggles in loss to Astros - (MLB.com)
"Through the eight-game October winning streak, manager Davey Martinez (and, presumably, general manager Mike Rizzo) endeavored to shorten the rotation of relievers..."

Nationals bats go silent again in Game 4 drubbing - (Washington Times)
“'That is a good team over there,' Washington right fielder Adam Eaton said. 'We just didn’t think they would fold up and pack it in.'"

Scherzer prepared to "stay in the moment" in tonight's crucial Game 5 start - (MASN)
"Manager Davey Martinez said Scherzer has been working since right after Game 1 to this point devising a plan for adjustments to the way he went after Houston that first time around."

G5 FAQ: Cole vs. Max with WS tied - (MLB.com)
“'There was a lot of noise around us losing the first two games, and rightfully so, because the Nats had outplayed us,' Astros manager AJ Hinch said."

Best-of-three begins tonight with final home game of 2019 - (MASN)
"The Nationals do have a few things going for them. Most notably, they have Max Scherzer starting Game 5 tonight at home and Stephen Strasburg starting Game 6 on Tuesday in Houston."

Patrick Corbin was forced to alter his strategy in Game 4, and the Astros took full advantage - (WaPost)
"Houston did its homework on the Nationals' left-hander, and it paid off emphatically as the Astros knotted the World Series at two games apiece."

With WS tied, Nats confidently turn to Mad Max - (MLB.com)
"Imagine the feeling if the Nationals did not have Max Scherzer pitching in Game 5 of the World Series."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

World Series Game 4: Nationals lose second straight game to Astros - (Sports Illustrated)
"The Nationals’ original postseason motto—a hashtag, a rallying cry, an ethos—was modest: 'Stay in the Fight.' It did not speak of entitlement or control or even of victory."

The Houston Astros and José Urquidy Take Game 4 of the World Series - (The Ringer)
"Houston won Game 4, 8-1, to even the series at two games apiece. No home team has won a game yet in this series."

Max Scherzer, Gerrit Cole and best of three -- How Game 5 aces duel shapes this World Series - (ESPN)
"In a sense, we've circled back to where we were when the series began just five days ago."

How the Astros Won Game 4 of the World Series - (The New York Times)
"The Nationals could do little against Jose Urquidy and Houston’s relievers, and an Alex Bregman grand slam helped tie the series at two games apiece."

In An Exhausted Washington, The Nationals' World Series Run Brings Positivity - (NPR)
"There is unity and love in the air for the local baseball team, the Washington Nationals, who brought the first World Series play to D.C. since 1933 - certainly since the franchise moved to D.C. in 2005."

World Series Game 5 Preview: It’s now a best of three – (HardballTalk)
"I imagine there will be talk about 'momentum' on this evening’s broadcast, but I really wish we’d avoid that sort of thing."

World Series: Astros' swagger is back, they've taken control vs. Nats - (USA TODAY)
"The Houston Astros, with the music blaring and laughter permeating the clubhouse Saturday evening, still can’t figure out what happened back in Houston."

Alex Bregman's mic-drop slam means one thing -- The real Astros have shown up - (ESPN)
"The pimp job lasted 11 steps. The first five, methodical and languorous, allowed Alex Bregman to admire his work."