A lot of what ifs last night. What if Brantley could have played the wall better and caught what became a two-run double?
What if the catcher interference had been called on Josh Reddick?
What if Michael Brantley had sprinted on Yuli Gurriel’s bloop double and scored?
What if Springer had sprinted on his double that should have been a triple and then scored on the next at bat on a sac fly?
Any could have led to extra innings and the exposure of the Nats’ bullpen.
On the issue of Springer’s hustle, AJ Hinch said this:
“I think George got caught up in the moment of the play, in the anxiousness to see if the ball was leaving,” Hinch said. “It wasn’t an egregious showmanship kind of pimp job, as they call it. It was a delay in reading the play correctly to where, once he started running, he ran into Tucker, who was coming back to tag up because Eaton looked like he was camped underneath the ball.
“So [in] the collision course of making a decision, George didn’t give himself the longest chance to make it. He had to make a snap decision based on where he was at the time in which the play had matured, and the ball had gone off the wall.”
I really wish in private AJ told George and the whole team: “Don’t assume it’s going to be a home run. Assume it is not going to be a home run and run your ass off.”
Here’s the lineups, per MLB.com
Astros: The only assured change in the lineup is Robinson Chirinos replacing Martin Maldonado at catcher with Verlander on the mound.
Here is Houston’s lineup:
1) George Springer, CF
2) José Altuve, 2B
3) Michael Brantley, LF
4) Alex Bregman, 3B
5) Yuli Gurriel, 1B
6) Yordan Alvarez, DH
7) Carlos Correa, SS
8) Robinson Chirinos, C
9) Josh Reddick, RF
Nationals: In Game 1, Washington became the first team to score at least five earned runs and hand Gerrit Cole a loss since May 22, thanks to the efforts of Soto, who collected three hits, drove in three runs and stole a base. Manager Dave Martinez is rolling out the same lineup vs. Verlander.
Here is Washington’s lineup:
1) Trea Turner, SS
2) Adam Eaton, RF
3) Anthony Rendon, 3B
4) Juan Soto, LF
5) Howie Kendrick, DH
6) Asdrúbal Cabrera, 2B
7) Ryan Zimmerman, 1B
8) Kurt Suzuki, C
9) Victor Robles, CF
For Your Viewing and Listening Pleasure
Game 2: Wednesday, October 23rd @ 7:07 pm CDT
Listen: Nationals - 106.7 The Fan, ESPN Radio / Astros - KBME 790 AM/94.5 FM HD-2, La Ranchera 850 AM, ESPN Radio
Watch: FOX, FOX-INT