Astros take Game 3: What we learned from the win

Washington, D.C. – The Astros return to Washington, D.C. for the first time since 2014 proved to be a success as they bounced back with a victory in Game 3 of the World Series. 

Houston's win pulled the Astros to within 2-1 in the series with Game 4 Saturday night at Nationals Park and now a definitive Game 5 Sunday night also at Nationals Park.

 

WHAT DID WE LEARN FROM THE ASTROS GAME 3 WIN

 

GREINKE WASN'T GREAT BUT WAS GOOD ENOUGH

Zack Greinke got the start and benefited from early run support.  He got into some early jams but battled through them.  The Nationals struggled badly with runners in scoring position all night unlike Games 1 and 2 when they came up with clutch hits.  Greinke lasted only 4 2/3's innings with over 90 pitches. He allowed 7 hits, 1 run, walked 3 and struck out 6 Nationals hitters.  He had key strikeouts in the 2nd inning of Kurt Suzuki and in the 3rd on an eephus pitch of 68 mph against Asdrubal Cabrera to end that frame. Greinke got in trouble in the 4th with a wall and triple by Victor Robles but got strikeouts of Suzuki again and Anibal Sanchez.  

 

THE LEADERS STEPPED UP AND DELIVERED

The past 36 to 48 hours were not easy on the Astros who were swept at home in Games 1 and 2 and came to D.C. facing long odds to get back in the series.  It's their "Win Tonight" mentality that rubbed off on everyone in the clubhouse.  They came to Nationals Park not phased one bit by the 0-2 deficit and instead were laser focused on the task at hand.   No doom and gloom and no panic from anywhere.  The leaders stepped up as we all expected. Jose Altuve led the way with great at-bat's and production including doubles in the 3rd and 5th innings when he scored on two MIchael Brantley singles.  George Springer didn't breakout but still got a hit as did Josh Reddick who knocked in the first Astros run in the Top of the 2nd on a broken bat single that scored Carlos Correa.  One night and more to come from this bunch I have a feeling. The Astros aren't done yet.

STAYED MENTALLY STRONG

The Astros are a team that doesn't get rattled despite any tough situations they find themselves in.  Perfect example was Game 3.. They knew down deep and admitted so Friday night after the win that they had to win to keep their season alive.  A loss and 0-3 pretty much would have sealed it for the Nationals.  Instead, some doubt has been created inside of the Nats clubhouse.  The Astros are baseball's best team and are mentally strong in all phases of their game. Most of these guys were on the 2017 World Series team, so they know what being on the big stage and high pressure is all about.  Inside of the clubhouse I loved what I saw in the look in their eyes and the confidence they showed.

 

The Astros will be ready Saturday night in a bullpen game.  Manager A.J. HInch announced that Jose Urquidy will get the start and stay in as long as he's getting results.   

Sunday in Game 5 now ensures a rematch from Game 1 with Gerrit Cole and Max Scherzer on the mound once again.

This series is far from being over. Stay tuned!