The Washington Nationals may have lost Game 5 and fallen behind in this World Series, but they still have a clear path to win it all.
But now with their backs against the wall, there is a clear path to still winning the title in these final two games.
There are simply three things that must take place in order for the Nationals to win the World Series.
Strasburg was able to outduel in counterpart in Game 2 of this World Series, and it wouldn’t be a major shock if it happened again the way he’s been pitching.
Second, the Nationals have to hope Max Scherzer can get healthy and start Game 7.
The only positive about Scherzer getting scratched for Game 5, is that it means he could be available to start a potential Game 7. And I feel really good about the Nationals chances with Scherzer on the mound in a Game 7.
Scherzer’s started hurting during Game 4 and felt even worse Sunday morning. Hopefully with over two full days of rest and treatment, he can recover enough to start and pitch like he’s capable of in Game 7.
Third, and most important of all, the offense has to wake up.
The Nationals have the starting pitching to pull this off, but it’s not going to mean a thing if the offense doesn’t start swinging the bats better.
After scoring 17 runs in the first games — games started by Gerrit Cole and Verlander — the Nationals have managed to just score 3 total runs in the past three games.
Early in this series the Nationals hitters were being aggressive early in the count and were able to get some big hits by putting the ball in play and not striking out.
That has not been the case in the past three games as they’ve struck out 32 times.
It may be time for the Nationals hitters to adjust their approach against Astros pitchers.
This all sounds simple when you put it on paper, but despite losing three games in a row, there is a clear path to the Nationals winning this World Series.