HOUSTON – Before the World Series, Zack Greinke would have been at a huge on-paper advantage over Anibal Sanchez. In the playoffs, where Greinke has struggled since 2015, it's a different story. Sanchez started Game 3 for the Nationals coming off 7.2 scoreless innings against the Cardinals.
After two shocking wins in Houston, the Nationals held a giant series advantage with a hot pitcher as the #3 starter.
Here's a look at how each starter set their team up in a 4-1 Astros win.
ASTROS – Zack Greinke
4.2 IP 7 H 1 R 1 ER 3 BB 6 K
Greinke labored through 95 high-leverage pitches, giving up seven hits. The Nationals struggled with runners in scoring position, including a big spot in the third inning, where Asdrubal Cabrera (who came in with incredible numbers against Greinke) struck out on a 68 MPH curveball with the bases loaded. Greinke pitched with baserunners in scoring position in every inning, but still managed to give up just one run. Josh James relieved Greinke in the fifth and struck out Ryan Zimmerman to end a Nationals threat and close the book on Greinke's statline.
NATIONALS – Anibal Sanchez
5.1 IP 10 H 4 R 4 ER 1 BB 4 K
Sanchez's struggles started in the second, when the Astros bottom of the order squeaked out a run off a Carlos Correa double and a Josh Reddick single. Sanchez gave up a third hit in the inning when Robinson Chirinos singled.
The third started with an Altuve leadoff double and Michael Brantley drove him in before Sanchez was able to lock down the middle of the Astros order.
Sanchez was able to last into the sixth inning, but his night ended after a Robinson Chirinos home run and a walk to Kyle Tucker. All things considered, Sanchez was lucky to escape with just four runs of damage after giving up 10 hits.