George Springer's homer to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning of World Series Game 1 on Tuesday not only trimmed the Nationals' lead, it gave the Astros’ spark plug a Major League record.
Springer's drive off Tanner Rainey, his 14th career postseason home run, marked the fifth straight World Series game in which he’s gone deep, which broke a tie that Springer held with Hall of Famers Reggie Jackson (1977-78) and Lou Gehrig (1928-32).
In his next at-bat, Springer made a bid for another dinger, but it hit the fence in right-center field for a two-run double that cut the Astros' deficit to one in the eighth inning, although that was as close as Houston would come in the 5-4 Game 1 defeat to Washington.
Springer’s active run dates back to the Astros' Fall Classic win against the Dodgers in 2017, when he homered five times in seven games and overcame four strikeouts in Game 1 to earn the World Series MVP Award.
"I told them in the dugout we need to play in the World Series more often, because [Springer] hits homers every single time it feels like," manager AJ Hinch said. "He's off to a really good start. His first game in the last World Series maybe not so much, but he's picking up right where he left off."
Springer was less enthusiastic about making history, considering Houston now trails in the series.
"I'd rather win," Springer said. "I don't really care. Cool, great, yeah. But I'd rather win."
Springer’s homer on Tuesday came against a 99.2-mph four-seam fastball from Rainey, making it the fastest pitch that the Astros’ three-time All-Star has hit for a homer, and the fourth-fastest pitch any player has turned into a home run in the postseason since the advent of pitch tracking in 2008. Springer lifted the middle-in offering 428 feet to left-center field.
Before Tuesday, Springer had been experiencing an otherwise quiet postseason. He entered play slashing .152/.235/.283 with two homers, four RBIs and 15 strikeouts in 46 at-bats.