The Astros have a shot at clinching their second World Series Championship tonight with Justin Verlander toeing the rubber against the Nationals in Game 6.
Just a few days ago it wasn’t looking too rosy for the Astros and their fans. They just lost the first two games of the World Series at home, and with their two best pitchers on the mound. But the players in that dugout had confidence and never gave up. That leads us to this evening where the Astros will put the game in Verlander‘s hands in hopes of bringing that trophy back to Houston.
With all of the accolades Justin Verlander has earned in his career, a World Series win is the one thing he has not yet accomplished. In six starts in the Fall Classic, Verlander is 0-5 with one no-decision. He has a 5.73 ERA in 33 innings of work in those six appearances. Despite those less than auspicious numbers, AJ Hinch and the players have all the confidence in him.
"“We’ve got Justin Verlander on the mound and that brings a lot of confidence to our clubhouse,” said manager A.J. Hinch. via Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle"
In Game 2, Verlander surrendered four earned runs in seven innings and 107 pitches. Half of those runs were from a two-run double by Anthony Rendon in the first inning. From that point on, he settled in pitching five scoreless innings. He entered the seventh inning at right around a 100 pitch count. After giving up a home run to Kurt Suzuki and walking the next batter, his night was done.
All-in-all, it wasn’t a bad outing, although Verlander might tell you differently. But the Astros only scored three runs behind him and Houston’s bullpen imploded that night to the tune of eight more runs scored by the Nationals. So the game was definitely in reach when JV headed to the dugout.
Verlander will make the necessary adjustments and go back out there tonight and face the Nationals for a second time in this Series with all the confidence in the world. And there is no reason we should doubt him. There’s no better time for him to get that first World Series win than tonight in front of a raucous home crowd, and earn Houston their second Trophy in three years.