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The Astros have sucked the life out of an entire city

It was hard to imagine the World Series starting off much better for Nationals fans. They saw their team overcome heavy odds in the first two games in Houston to not only defeat both Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander -- two of the best pitchers on the planet -- but to also clobber them.

Game 2 was an absolute rout, and the Nationals' 12-3 victory meant that they would be coming home to D.C. with an eight-game winning streak. Fans of all ages were embracing the Baby Shark. They could clinch their first championship at home and not even have to beat the Astros' aces again. Everything was coming up Nats!

The problem with all that joy? Evil forces like the Astros love nothing more than taking it all away in a snap. They live for it. They thrive on it.

The fervor on Friday night surrounding the first World Series game in the nation's capital since 1933 turned out to be all for naught. The frustration on the fans' faces was easy to see as the Nats stranded runners left and right in Game 3's 4-1 loss.

It was a drag, but they still led in the series. They could win the next two games and celebrate on Sunday. After all, the Astros were starting a rookie in Game 4 who hadn't pitched more than three innings in a month.

Jose Urquidy was mincemeat ... until he wasn't.

The Nats were held scoreless through five innings while Astros catcher Robinson Chirinos homered for the second game in a row to put Houston in front. A Baby Shark-powered Nats rally in the sixth turned into only one run.

Once again, the anguish was beginning to set in for the fans at Nationals Park. It only got worse when the Astros loaded the bases in the seventh for AL MVP contender Alex Bregman.

Prayers went out. "Please, Fernando Rodney. Keep this game close."

Instead of an escape, they witnessed a disaster.

A pall set in. Silence swept the ballpark.

Fans looked like they were seeing ghosts.

Not even former Nats players were immune from feeling the devastation.

Maybe this was the haunting future that it looked like Ryan Zimmerman briefly foresaw in Game 3.

The Astros are ice cold. They've sapped all the good vibes from Nationals fans and guaranteed themselves a trip back to Houston with their best pitchers slated to return to the mound, seeking vengeance.

All the Nationals can do is pick up the pieces, try to rally and never speak of Friday or Saturday night again. That pain is going to take awhile to subside.