Given that only one team in baseball’s postseason history has come back from a 3-0 deficit, Friday night’s World Series Game 3 in Washington, D.C., was essentially a must-win for the Astros. They did manage a win on the road to cut the Nationals’ series lead in half heading into
Given that only one team in baseball’s postseason history has come back from a 3-0 deficit, Friday night’s World Series Game 3 in Washington, D.C., was essentially a must-win for the Astros. They did manage a win on the road to cut the Nationals’ series lead in half heading into Saturday night’s Game 4.
After the Nationals hit with runners in scoring position in the first two games and the Astros struggled, those roles were reversed in Game 3. Houston took the lead on a Josh Reddick single in the second and never relinquished it en route to a 4-1 win.
Here are 13 facts and figures to know about the Astros' Game 3 victory:
1) Game 3 marked the first World Series game in Washington since the Giants beat the Senators in the decisive Game 5 of the 1933 Fall Classic. That was 31,429 days prior to Friday, and the Nats are still looking for the city’s first World Series win since Game 3 of that ‘33 matchup.
2) Houston is trying to become the 14th team all-time to come back from a 2-0 deficit in a best-of-seven postseason series, and the first to do so in the World Series since the 1996 Yankees. In all series with the current 2-3-2 format, teams that have taken Game 3 after falling behind 2-0 have come back to win the series 12 of 43 times (28%).
3) The Nationals entered Game 3 with an eight-game winning streak this postseason, which was tied for the longest single-postseason streak with the 2014 Royals, '05 White Sox and '04 Red Sox. Friday’s loss snapped that streak, meaning they’ll remain tied with those three other teams for the record.
Washington had also won 18 of its past 20 games overall, which tied for a franchise-best dating back to its Montreal era.
4) Road teams have now won each of the last five World Series games, dating back to the Red Sox’s win in Game 4 in Los Angeles last year, the game before they won to clinch the World Series. The last time a home team won a game was the Dodgers’ 18-inning marathon win on Max Muncy’s walk-off homer in Game 3. Visitors are also at nearly .500 -- 16-17 -- in this year’s postseason.
The last time road teams won five or more straight World Series games was in the 1996 World Series, where the road team won each of the first five games in that series -- before the Yanks won Game 6 at home to clinch the series.
5) Friday marked the Nats' first loss this postseason while wearing their navy blue uniforms. Washington was 9-0 in those colors prior to Game 3.
6) The Astros entered Game 3 having hit just .127 with runners in scoring position since the beginning of their American League Championship Series matchup against the Yankees. But they turned that around in a big way Friday, going 4-for-10 with runners in scoring position and notching their first three runs via RISP hits.
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7) Meanwhile, the Nationals were 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position in the game, after going 7-for-21 in the first two games of the series. Washington became the first team since the 2008 Phillies to go hitless in 10 or more at-bats with runners in scoring position in a World Series game (Game 1 vs. the Rays) -- though it’s worth noting that the Phils won that game, going 0-for-13 with RISP to set a World Series record along the way.
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8) José Altuve remains scorching hot. After going 2-for-5 with a pair of doubles in Game 3, Altuve’s batting line this postseason stands at .362/.413/.724 with six doubles and five homers in 58 at-bats. Altuve’s 1.137 OPS would be the highest in a single postseason (min. 50 AB) since David Ortiz finished at 1.206 in his magical October 2013.
9) Houston’s Nos. 6-8 hitters -- Carlos Correa (8-for-50), Reddick (3-for-27) and Robinson Chirinos (2-for-24) -- were batting a combined .129 in the postseason entering Game 3. But they combined to go 4-for-12 on Friday, with Reddick driving in the Astros’ first run of the night and Chirinos adding insurance with a foul-pole home run in the sixth.
10) Chirinos’ solo shot left his bat with a 108.4 mph exit velocity, the hardest home run he has hit since Statcast began tracking exit velocities in 2015.
11) Chirinos’ dinger made the Astros the second team to have two different catchers homer in the same World Series, following Giants backstops Ed Bailey and Tom Haller against the Yanks in 1962. Chirinos’ teammate Martín Maldonado went deep in Game 2.
Per STATS, this is the first World Series to feature three catchers homering overall, including Kurt Suzuki’s go-ahead homer off Justin Verlander in Game 2.
Harris steps up
12) Will Harris picked up five huge outs for Houston, stranding runners on first and second in the sixth and then retiring the heart of the Nats’ lineup in order in the seventh. Harris’ 1 2/3 innings marked his longest outing since Aug 30, 2018, against the Angels. The right-hander has yet to allow a run in 8 1/3 innings this postseason.
13) Harris now has nine scoreless appearances this postseason. There have been 12 times in which a pitcher has finished a single postseason with at least nine appearances in a single postseason without allowing a run. The record is 11 by Jeremy Affeldt for the 2014 Giants.
Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.
Andrew Simon is a research analyst for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB.
Sarah Langs is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in New York. Follow her on Twitter @SlangsOnSports.