This is the kind of statement that the baseball gods love to pick up and kick around like a tin can, denting it so far as to be unrecognizable, but Game 4 might prove to be the turning point of the 2019 World Series. While not exactly must-win for either of the teams, it also is, sort of, must-win for each team, for different reasons.
For the Astros, they face going down 3-1 in the series with another game in Washington yet to come. Even for the team Jerry Dipoto called the best he’s ever seen assembled in baseball, that’s a steep hole to climb out of, even with Truth having recently vacated the well to shame the Astros. For the Nationals, Game 4 represents the last game where they’ll have an advantage on the pitching side, and one of the last two games before the series returns to a raucous Minute Maid Park with an angry, recently-memed Justin Verlander atop the mound. If anything, I think the pressure is on the Nationals tonight. Letting a resurgent Astros team pull even before they get to deploy the Gertink Colanderke Cerberus over the potential final three games of the series would firmly shift favor to the Astros.
The Astros are running out mostly the same lineup they have all playoffs long, with the exception of Jake Marisnick subbed in for Josh Reddick, because the Astros enjoy the fiction they are two different people. Also, did you know Josh Reddick has started calling himself “Mr. Irrelevant”, which I took to mean he was drafted at the Mr. Irrelevant spot, except he wasn’t. He means on the Astros, he’s irrelevant next to Altuve, Springer, Bregman, Correa, etc. I’m still sorting out how I feel about this, but I think the answer is “bad.”
The Nats are also making a change, subbing in Howie Kendrick as a starter for Asdrubal Cabrera, who was one of the bigger offenders in the Nats’ 0-for-10 with RISP performance last night. RISPy business, indeed.
Nats’ Game 4 lineup. Kendrick is back in there. pic.twitter.com/DQ6dBJt3cf— Dan Kolko (@masnKolko) October 26, 2019
The game starts at 5:07 PT and is available on FOX, and also make them turn off college football at the bar, this game is much more important, tell them I sent you.