3rd Inning: Altuve Stays Hot
Jose Altuve is now 9 for 22 (.409) this postseason. His nine hits are the most of any player in this World Series. He was the only base runner of the third inning.
In the bottom half of the inning, Cole tossed a 1-2-3 frame. He is through three scoreless innings on 42 pitches.
Once the inning ended, President Trump was shown on the scoreboard. Flanked by staff in a suite behind home plate, Trump smiled and clapped. But there was a resounding round of boos from the crowd at Nationals Park. A distinct chant of “Lock him up!” broke out in the upper deck.
2nd Inning: Alvarez Blast Puts Astros Ahead
Starting Yordan Alvarez, the Astros’ usual designated hitter, in as a left fielder proved to be a key decision by Manager A.J. Hinch. Since the series shifted to Washington, both teams lost the designated hitter. Alvarez, who struggled in the A.LC.S. but looked better at the plate this round, is known for his bat, not his nimbleness in the field.
After using Alvarez as a pinch hitter the previous two games in Washington, Hinch kept him in to face Ross on Sunday. Alvarez clobbered an opposite-field two-run homer to give the Astros a 2-0 lead. Ross threw a low sinker to the low outside corner, but Alvarez powered the ball into the left-center field seats.
Hinch said he had targeted this game for Alvarez “because Gerrit would get so many strikeouts, there’s less balls in play and less opportunity for something crazy to happen in the outfield.” Additionally, Hinch said, “I didn’t want to go three games without having his bat in the lineup for multiple at-bats.”
In the bottom half of the inning, Juan Soto and Howie Kendrick singled off Cole. But Cole used his usual magic to strike out Ryan Zimmerman and get Victor Robles to ground into a double play.
1st Inning: Ross Survives the First Frame
Given a tough assignment — filling in for three-time Cy Young Award winner Scherzer in the World Series — Ross fired a powerhouse first inning. He accomplished something that Stephen Strasburg, Patrick Corbin and Scherzer struggled to do in the World Series: a scoreless first inning. Ross tossed 14 pitches. He walked George Springer, the leadoff hitter, but used his power sinking fastball in the mid 90s to get a inning-ending ground ball double play from Michael Brantley.
Cole was no slouch himself. He threw 17 pitches to get three outs. He hit 99 miles per hour with his fastball and threw a slider at 92. Good luck hitters.
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. Joe Ross P
Opting for offense over defense, the Astros started Yordan Alvarez, their usual designated hiter, in left field.
1. George Springer CF
2. Jose Altuve 2B
3. Michael Brantley RF
4. Alex Bregman 3B
5. Yuli Gurriel 1B
6. Yordan Alvarez LF