You had it Astros, you had it!

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Alexander Thomas, Staff Writer

The Houston Astros had a chance to win the Commissioner’s Trophy in last night’s Game 6 at the Juice Box. Unfortunately, the Nationals had other plans. Houston lost 2-7 in similar fashion to Game 1. The pitching match-up was between Justin Verlander and Stephen Strasburg. Strasburg undoubtedly won that duel and could have had a complete game (he was taken out after striking out Yuli Gurriel in the bottom of the 9th). Nats manager Dave Martinez was sent off in the top of the 7th inning for loudly arguing with the umpires over a call where Trea Turner (SS, WAS) ran off the lane between home plate and 1st base. This caused Turner to be out by batter interference. This is what the rule states…

Rule 5.09(a)(11) Comment: The lines marking the three-foot lane are a part of that lane and a batter-runner is required to have both feet within the three-foot lane or on the lines marking the lane. The batter-runner is permitted to exit the three foot lane by means of a step, stride, reach or slide in the immediate vicinity of first base for the sole purpose of touching first base.

According to the rule, Turner was out. Of course Manager Martinez was very unhappy with that, especially when the out was upheld after review. Even though this didn’t really have an effect on the game for them.

Game Summary

Washington started scoring in the 1st inning. Anthony Rendon hit an RBI ground ball single that put the Nats up 0-1. When the time came for the Astros to answer back in the bottom of the 1st, they responded accordingly. Jose Altuve hit a sacrifice fly to left that scored 1 run followed by Alex Bregman’s solo bomb to left field. That home run got MMP rocking and roaring with delight. Nothing else could be done, leaving the score 2-1. Verlander and Starsburg stifled both team’s lineups through out the 2nd and 3rd innings.

Both pitchers again showed their dominance in the 4th inning. In the top of the 5th, all seemed normal for the Astros. JV was able to get the first out (Turner popped out to 1st base). The next batter up was Adam Eaton who on his second pitch took Verlander yard to right field, drawing the score level at 2-2. That shot shocked the crowd. Their morale was restored when JV caused Rendon to fly out to right. Juan Soto came to the plate after Rendon, ready to do damage. And damage he did. Soto homered to right field after a 5 pitch battle against Verlander, turning the lead in Washington’s favor 2-3. Verlander did get the last out to end the top of the inning. The Astros bats were again stymied by Strasburg in the bottom of the 5th. Brad Peacock substituted Justin Verlander to start the 6th. Peacock stopped the bleeding and handed the inning over to the Astros hitters, who still could do nothing against Strasburg’s stuff to retake the lead.

Coming into the 7th, there was the whole debacle of the Nationals not liking the ruling on the bang-bang play that occurred. After the dust settled, Brad Peacock was taken out in favor of Will Harris. Harris was able to secure another out before Rendon rang out a 2 run shot to Crawford Street. This made the score 2-5 , bringing morale to a low we as Astros fans have felt before. Peacock stopped the bleeding, forcing Juan Soto to lineout. As was the case again, Houston could not put runs on the board in response to Rendon’s stunner. Ryan Pressly pitched the 8th inning, stifling Washington temporarily. The Astros didn’t do anything just like the previous inning. Chris Devenski started the 9th inning, making 2 outs before allowing a double and then hitting the next batter. This left two men on the bases with Anthony Rendon at the plate. AJ Hinch calmed him down but it was no use. After the mound visit, Rendon hit a 2 RBI fly ball double to center field, effectively icing the game for the Nationals. Devenski got the last out and turned it over to the Astros offense. In the bottom of the 9th, Strasburg got Gurriel to lineout. After doing so, he was taken out in favor of Sean Doolittle. I would have kept him in but hey, he gave it his all out on the field that night. Doolitle shut down the Astros, securing a Game 7 for tonight. Hoepfully the Astros win this one…