Astros Take Quick Lead vs. Nationals in Game 4: Live Updates

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The Astros wasted no time in putting together a rally, as Alex Bregman and Yuli Gurriel both had run-scoring singles in the first inning. Astros 2, Nationals 0.

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Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Astros

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

Nationals

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

  • The Houston Astros gave themselves a fighting chance with their 4-1 win over the Washington Nationals in Game 3 on Friday. Even though the Nationals still lead the series, two games to one, the Astros made a dent in the odds.

    Teams that hold a two-games-to-one advantage in the World Series have gone on to win the series nearly 66 percent of the time (59 of the past 90 instances). The most recent examples of teams that held such an edge that went on to lose the World Series: the 2014 Kansas City Royals (falling to the San Francisco Giants in seven games) and the 2016 Cleveland Indians (falling to the Chicago Cubs in seven games).

  • Jose Urquidy, the Astros rookie, will start Game 4. It will be a bullpen game for the Astros, so expect many pitching changes. He will be the third Mexico-born pitcher to start a World Series game, and the second rookie to do so. The first rookie was the former Los Angeles Dodgers star Fernando Valenzuela in 1981.

  • Even though the Astros are starting a rookie and plan to lean heavily on their bullpen for the second straight game, they may hold one advantage with their offense. Patrick Corbin is a strong left-handed pitcher; he went 14-7 with a 3.25 earned run average over 202 innings in the regular season. He has been less stellar during the postseason: 12 runs over 14 1/3 innings.

    The Astros were the best at making contact in the major leagues during the regular season, and they led in many offensive categories. Their lineup full of right-handers clobbered left-handed pitching: They were second in the major leagues with a .868 on-base-plus-slugging-percentage. Right-handed batters during the regular season versus Corbin: .704 O.P.S.

  • The Nationals avoided using their best relievers in Fridays’ game, such as Sean Doolittle and Daniel Hudson, which will allow Manager Dave Martinez to be more aggressive with them on Saturday. Catcher Kurt Suzuki left Friday’s game with a hip injury, but he was never expected to start on Saturday anyway, since Yan Gomes is often paired with Corbin.

  • Key hitters who have been mostly cold at the plate this postseason: the Astros’ star third baseman Alex Bregman is 1 for 13 and shortstop Carlos Correa is 2 for 13, while the Nationals’ star third baseman Anthony Rendon is 2 for 13.

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