Remember 2017? Specifically remember Game 6 of the World Series in 2017? The Astros had torn the Dodgers’ hearts out with an insane win 13-12 in Game 5. They needed a road win behind their ace Justin Verlander to take the series. Sound familiar?
In both that game and Game 5 of the 2019 ALCS they gave Verlander an early 1-0 lead. In both games, the offense shut down and generated no more runs. In both games, Verlander had one inning where he gave up runs and in both games, they lost – 3-1 in 2017 and 4-1 on Friday night.
A big difference is that this time the Astros head home for the next game and in fact that they have two home games to vanquish the enemy.
Going home up 3-2 is not a best-case scenario, but winning 2 of 3 in NYC after getting swept there in 2017 is at least a very good scenario.
The opposing starters for Saturday night’s games have not been announced, but it is likely that all arms are on deck for both teams in Game 6. Will the Yanks start Luis Severino on short rest coming off an injury? Not likely. Will the Astros start Gerrit Cole on short rest when the guy has not lost in forever? Less likely.
Hopefully, the Astros offense will come alive in their home stadium. The Astros have lost when they only scored 0 and 1 runs. They’ve won when they scored 3, 4 and 8 runs. They need a game where the offense leads the way and gives the pitching staff some breathing room like it did in Game 4.
The Astros played hard to the finish line of the regular season in order to earn home-field advantage. Now it’s time to cash in that advantage.