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Jose Urquidy answers the call under World Series pressure

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(Getty Images)

Washington, D.C. – A.J. Hinch refused to call Saturday's World Series Game 4 a bullpen game because he knew who he had going out on the mound.

"I don't even know that I want to call this a bullpen game because Urquidy is a starter. I would love for Urquidy to go five, six innings, whatever he can do," said Hinch before Game 4.

Hinch got his wish.

Urquidy was making his first career postseason start after beginning this season back in April as the opening day starter for the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks.  

There he was Saturday night at Nationals Park pitching like a veteran under a high-stress environment.

Urquidy not only embraced his opportunity, but he shined under the bright lights. He pitched 5 shutout innings and gave up only two hits while finishing with four strikeouts. In what was his 11th major league appearance, Urquidy allowed just two base runners.

In the bottom of the second inning, Urquidy went to work striking out Howie Kendrick to start the frame and ending it by whiffing Victor Robles. The 24-year-old then came back in the 4th to get Juan Soto on a 96 MPH fastball for his third strikeout of the game. He finished his outing in the 5th, sitting down Ryan Zimmerman followed by two easy fly outs to cap off his night.

Urquidy finished with 67 pitches in his five innings with 45 of those strikes.  His magnificent start could not have been scripted any better by A.J. Hinch.

The Astros have come to Washington, D.C. and taken games three and four to get this series all square again at 2-2. They've now regained the home-field advantage and are assured of at least hosting Game 6 on Tuesday night.

First thing's first, though That is all about game 5 Sunday night when we get a second round of top-shelf pitching as Gerrit Cole and Max Scherzer meet up again in a rematch from Game 1.