Game 4: Visitors Have Found a Comfort Zone On the Road in 2019 World Series
So much for the home-field advantage.
The World Series is tied at two wins apiece for the Nationals and the Astros.
And here is the kicker -- both teams have both of their wins as the visiting team.
The Astros slammed -- literally -- the Nationals 8-1 at Nationals Park on Saturday night. Alex Bregman, who singled in the Astros first run in the first inning, delivered the final four runs in the seventh inning with the 20th grand slam in World Series history. It was the 18th of those 20 grand slams that came in a game in which the player's team won the Game.
The exceptions were Yogi Berra of the Yankees hitting a slam off Don Newcombe of the Dodgers to give the Yankees a 6-0 lead in the second inning of Game 2 in 1956, which the Yankees lost 13-8, and Jose Canseco of the the A's hitting a slam off Tim Belcher of the Dodgers in the second inning of Game 1 in 1988, which the Dodgers won 5-4 on Kirk Gibson's pinch-hit, walk-off blast off Dennis Eckersley.
The biggest news, though, was the effort of Astros rookie Jose Urquidy, who didn't even make his big-league debut until July 2 at Coors Field in a game the Astros rallied to win 9-8. He, however, became only the sixth rookie in history to make start in a World Series game and not allow a run. He allowed two hits, struck out four and did not walk a batter in his five innings of work.
Veteran reliever Fernando Rodney wasn't anywhere near as effective for the Nationals. Rodney, who gave up the seventh inning grand slam to Bregman that put the game out of reach, has not distinguished himself in post-season play. He has a career 5.71 ERA in 20 post-season relief appearances, and has a career 6.00 ERA in seven appearances in World Series games.
The Nationals have failed to cash in with runners in scoring position against the Astros -- at home in particular. They were hitless in 10 at-bats with runners on second and third in Game 3 on Friday, and just 1-for-9 on Saturday. They also were only 2-for-9 in Game 1 at Houston on Tuesday, but did go 5-for-12 with RISP in Game 2 on Wednesday.
A look at how the Nationals have fared with runners in scoring position this post-season: