HOUSTON – What a difference a few days has made for the Astros.
They answered the sweep at Minute Maid Park in games 1 and 2 by coming to D.C.and taking care of business on three straight nights.
The momentum is now clearly in the Astros' corner as they come home with a chance to clinch the World Series in front of the home fans Tuesday night.
Here are the top keys to the Astros turnaround:
PITCHING TOOK DOWN THE NATS
After the Nationals beat both Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander in games 1 and 2, the Astros showed their depth. Zack Greinke got it done under high pressure in game three to get the Astros back in it. The story of the weekend, though, was 24-year-old Jose Urquidy stepping up and delivering five solid innings holding the Nationals lineup in check in his World Series debut. Sunday the Cole-Train rolled through for a seven-inning outing in what was perhaps his final start as an Astro with free agency looming. The bullpen was also tremendous and helped to finish things off.
The Astros went from ice cold in games 1 and 2 to red hot by Sunday night. This lineup can hurt you in so many ways when they are locked in. They improved with runners on base and manufactured 19 runs in three games. George Springer, Jose Altuve, Michael Brantley, Alex Bregman, Yuli Gurriel, Jose Alvarez and Carlos Correa all delivered.
As Altuve put it Sunday, "We have so many guys, we have somebody different stepping up each night."
ASTROS STAYED THE COURSE
They began 0-2 and then used the day off and travel to push the reset button. It has paid off since then. These Astros stay even keel during the bad times and the good times. A.J. Hinch believes that is the way to go and keeps the clubhouse in check.
The Astros are the best home team in baseball and now get the chance to deliver to the fans what no team has done before them.
Clinch at home and celebrate with their great fans. They will get their shot on Tuesday night.
It is back to H-Town, where Tuesday will be an electric night at the Juice Box.
Two heavyweight pitchers clash again as Stephen Strasburg faces off with Justin Verlander in a rematch of Game 2. Verlander will be looking for his first career World Series win.
See you at Minute Maid Park!