The Washington Nationals now know their opponent on Tuesday and they’re on their way to Houston.
Tied 4-4 in the bottom of the ninth, Aroldis Chapman—a flame throwing closer who’s developed a reputation for untimely bombs in October—pitched to the future ALCS MVP and former American League MVP Jose Altuve, who sent Minute Maid Park into absolute frenzy.
The Yankees played to their strength in the bullpen all series but Houston got enough of a look to where it didn’t matter and 28 will wait.
Houston, with probable Cy Young Gerrit Cole in Game 1, will appear in its second World Series in 3 years. They beat the Dodgers in 7 in 2017.
Chapman giving Altuve a pitch to hit is surprising, considering gloveman Jake Marisnick was on deck. Marisnick’s career on base percentage is .280, well below Altuve’s batting average. Marisnick isn’t much of a power threat either, so the decision to pitch to Altuve is surprising after DJ LeMahieu had arguably the best at bat of the postseason in the 9th to tie it off of the Astros’ closer, Roberto Osuna.
The Astros look to make this a dynasty, but the Nats look to seize the opportunity with a closing window in the first year of the Bryceless Era and possibly the final year of Mr. Nat Ryan Zimmerman. Their starter for Game 1 is unknown, but any combination of Scherzer/Corbin/Strasburg is just as lethal as Cole/Verlander/Greinke.
This is the first decade since the 1910s that the Yankees will not appear in a World Series. Their last appearance was a victory over the Philadelphia Phillies in 2009.
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