WASHINGTON, D.C. — The last time Washington hosted a World Series game, FDR was in his first year as president, construction had just started on the Golden Gate Bridge and prohibition hadn’t yet taken effect.
For the first time in 86 years, the World Series returns to the nation’s capital as the Washington Nationals look to go up three games to none on the Houston Astros.
Washington has taken a commanding lead in the Series by doing the impossible—winning back-to-back games in Houston against two of the best starting pitchers in baseball. The Nats beat Gerrit Cole—the first time anyone has beaten him since June—in game one, then turned around and topped Justin Verlander the next night.
Now the Nats can wrap things up at home, with three games to win two.
Washington will start righthander Anibal Sanchez, who has a 0.71 postseason ERA, while Houston goes into about as close to a must-win game as it could have with Zack Greinke (0-2, 6.43) on the mound.
The Nationals will start Patrick Corbin in game four, then, if necessary, have aces Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer for a potential clincher.
But Washington isn’t getting ahead of itself.
“We talked about this yesterday about complacency. I don’t think our guys would ever do that, but we said, ‘Hey, we’ve still got a lot of baseball left. We’ve just got to focus on today and go home, rest and get ready to play and go 1-0 again.’ That’s been the message all year. We don’t try to get ahead of ourselves,” manager Dave Martinez said. “These guys need to understand the focus on the here and now and do the little things. That’s what’s got us here. And we’ve got to continue to do that. “
Houston, who has been plagued by off-field issues, firing its assistant general manager after a confrontation with female reporters in the clubhouse following the ALCS win, is just trying to focus on baseball.
“We’re very sensitive as a club to everything that’s gone on,” manager AJ Hinch said. “But I would like — we’ve got our hands full getting to Game 3 and getting a win in this series and getting at least two out of the next three in order for us to get this series back to Houston. So I don’t think we’ll know until we get well into the offseason and kind of process all this.”