Stephen Strasburg needed everything he had to not get chased in the top half of the sixth inning, delivering his 114th pitches to escape the jam with a 2-2 tie.
Looking for a spark, the Nats got an offensive explosion that started off the bat of catcher Kurt Suzuki.
On the 106.7 The Fan broadcast, Dave Jageler seemingly summoned the magic moment by pointing out that Suzuki had zero career postseason home runs:
Sometimes home runs can kill rallies because they clear the bases and allow a pitcher to focus on the batter again. That wasn’t the case for Washington, who poured it on in dramatic fashion.
Here’s an overview:
• With the bases loaded, Howie Kendrick had an infield hit that scored Victor Robles
• With the bases still loaded, Asdrubal Cabrera singled up the middle and scored Trea Turner and Juan Soto
• Ryan Zimmerman singled to score Kendrick and Cabrera.
The inning sucked the air out of Minute Maid Park, as the Houston faithful fell silent. When Fernando Rodney came in to pitch a clean seventh inning and the Nats added two more runs in the eighth inning, Astros fans got up and headed for the exits.
If the Nationals have their way, this will be the last time the fans see their team at home this season.
The key for the Nats will be to stay in the moment, something that they have done exceptionally well through the entire regular season and postseason.
Baseball prognosticators will tell you that you want to, but don’t need to, win one on the road to start the series. Winning two is almost unheard of, especially for a team as experienced as the Astros, and as inexperienced as the Nats.
This is why games aren’t played on paper.
Brian Tinsman has covered D.C. sports since 2011, both from the team marketing and skeptical fan perspectives. Tweet your criticisms @Brian_Tinsman.