End in Sight: Can Nationals Become All-Time World Series Road Warriors?
Something has to give in Game 7 of the World Series. The Nationals and Astros are both 3-0 on the road in this year's World Series. Only 10 teams prior to this season had accomplished that. Do the Nationals become a historic team and make it 4-0 at Minute Maid Park this October or do they become the 12th team to go 3-1 on the road?
Now, this is already a record-setting World Series in that the road team is 6-0, the Astros having swept the three games at Nationals Stadium.
Stephen Strasburg made his statement in Tuesday's win-or-go-home game for the Nationals, working 8 1/3 innings and allowing just two runs -- both in the first on a Jose Altuve sacrifice fly and Alex Bregman home run. He became the 25th pitcher in World Series history -- only the sixth in the expansion era (starting in 1961) to go 2-0 on the road in a World Series.
The Nationals have set a record for home runs on the road in three games with eight. That also equals the second highest road home run total in World Series history. The Giants have the record with nine home runs in four games in Anaheim in the 2002 World Series. The Giants, however, lost to the Angels in seven games, and the 1964 Yankees, one of three teams to hit eight home runs on the road in a World Series, also wound up on the short end of a 4-3 World Series against the Cardinals. The seven other teams (excluding the Nationals) with seven or more home runs in a World Series claimed world championships.
Justin Verlander is a likely Hall of Famer, but his World Series nightmare won't be a focus of that honor. Verlander suffered the loss for the Astros on Tuesday night. He is now 0-6 in seven World Series starts, two more losses than any other pitcher who never won a game in World Series history.
In fact, the only other pitcher who suffered more than five losses in the World Series is Whitey Ford, who was 10-8 in 22 career World Series starts for the Yankees. Ford had a 2.71 ERA, less than half the 5.68 ERA of Verlander.
Nationals manager Davey Martinez became the 24th ejection in World Series history during the break in the seventh inning. Martinez was upset that shortstop Trea Turner was called out for interference in the top of the seventh when he failed to run in the runner's box between home plate and first base, and did knock the glove off the hand of Astros first baseman Yuli Gurrell. Martinez argued the play at the time it was called. And then, even after Anthony Rendon did eventually deliver a two-run home run to give the Nationals a 5-2 lead, Martinez went back on the field to argue with the umpires between innings, and had to be restrained.
The rule that Martinez disputed: