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World Series Game 4 open thread

The Astros won last night to make sure there won’t be a World Series sweep. Tonight, they could even up the series.

World Series - Houston Astros v Washington Nationals - Game Three
Jose Altuve: Good at baseball.
Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The World Series has gotten interesting after all. The Astros responded to their 2-0 deficit in the series by going on the road last night and winning a game to make sure that there at least won’t be a sweep by the Nationals.

That one victory will mean little if they don’t also win tonight. A 3-1 deficit, while not insurmountable, is still not one any team would like to face. On the other hand, if the Astros knock off the Nats for a second consecutive night to even the series back up and guarantee that they will make it back to Houston, the narrative of the series would flip back around. Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander would be back in play.

To try to achieve this 2-2 tie in the series, the Astros turn to... well, their bullpen. It is mighty weird to see some team facing a crucial playoff game go for this bullpen game strategy. Weird does not always mean bad, but if it doesn’t work out, there will be a lot more second-guessers wondering if there wasn’t a better option. If it does work out, there may be copycats instead.

The Nationals are not going so crazy. They turn to Patrick Corbin, who they signed to a $140 million contract during the past offseason. If the Nationals win this series, the copycats might instead be deciding that having big-name, expensive, quality starting pitchers is the path to postseason success.

Corbin’s name doesn’t ring out as much as, say, Max Scherzer’s or Verlander’s, but he got paid after a nice rebound in his walk year and he didn’t immediately deterioriate with a new team. He’s been good this year. Even if you, like me, want to reflexively penalize all National League pitchers for not having to face real lineups, a 3.25 ERA with 238 strikeouts in 202 innings is impressive stuff.

Astros lineup

  1. George Springer - RF
  2. Jose Altuve - 2B
  3. Michael Brantley - LF
  4. Alex Bregman - 3B
  5. Yuli Gurriel - 1B
  6. Carlos Correa - SS
  7. Robinson Chirinos - C
  8. Jake Marisnick - CF
  9. Jose Urquidy - P

Walgreens lineup

  1. Trea Turner - SS
  2. Adam Eaton - RF
  3. Anthony Rendon - 3B
  4. Juan Soto - LF
  5. Howie Kendrick - 2B
  6. Ryan Zimmerman - 1B
  7. Victor Robles - CF
  8. Yan Gomes - C
  9. Patrick Corbin - P