After falling into an 0-2 hole, the Astros have rallied to even the World Series at two wins each after a dominant 8-1 victory in Washington Saturday night. Young pitcher Jose Urquidy was spectacular and Alex Bregman broke out of his funk with a grand slam in the seventh inning when the Astros blew the game open. It's now a best of three series with at least one in Houston on Tuesday after Game 5 in Washington Sunday. Here are three takeaways.
Jose Urquidy steals the show.
Few would have wagered that Jose Urquidy would stake his claim as a difference maker among all the pitchers to play in this Series. But the young pitcher threw five innings (he probably should have gone six or more) allowing just two hits and no runs with four strikeouts and no walks. He was absolutely what the Astros needed in the game and was a perfect counterbalance to the Nats' Patrick Corbin, who allowed four runs on seven hits through six.
With three games left, the Astros line up their big three starters, but the best starter on their staff so far has been the young Mexican pitcher who dominated in Game 4.
Robinson Chirinos bombs away.
The steady Astros catcher has hit two long balls in two straight games and helped the Astros get wins in both. When the Astros can get quality at bats from the bottom of their order, they can be very tough to beat. Chirinos, who is always a stable influence behind the dish, has broken out with a couple of long balls right when his team has needed them. On Saturday, he was just one part of the hit parade, but his bat has been a crucial part of the Astros getting back into this series.
Bregman's grand salami.
Alex Bregman has struggled mightily in these playoffs. The AL MVP candidate has been far from his top form for much of the postseason. On Saturday, however, he blasted a grand slam in the seventh inning to blow open what had been a 4-1 game. Bregman's home run not only gave the Astros a bigger cushion in the game, but was yet another sign that the Astros bats are finally beginning to wake up in this World Series, a good sign for the team and the reason they have managed to even the series.