The Houston Astros handed the ball to Gerrit Cole on Sunday night, and he gave them a firm grip on the World Series

The Houston Astros handed the ball to Gerrit Cole, and he gave them a firm grip on the World Series. Cole looked exactly like the man who dominated baseball most of this season, bouncing back from a Game 1 clunker to pitch the Astros to a 7-1 win on Sunday night and a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.

I just thought that we needed to execute better pitches this time out, and I didnt realize that that was how we got that many strikeouts, Cole said. I guess the situation just called for breaking balls in that spot. Thats what we were feeling.

Cole ended his outing by getting Victor Robles on a called third strike, a pitch the TV zone showed to be off the plate. Robles chucked his bat, helmet and gloves, and crowd soon began a derisive chant at umpire Lance Barksdale. Its tough. I think ultimately some of those pitches were off the plate, Cole said, acknowledging he finished his outing with a break.

Minus ailing ace Max Scherzer, the Nationals were no match in this Washington wipeout. Rookie Yordan Alvarez and Carlos Correa hit early two-run homers off emergency starter Joe Ross as Houston won their third straight at Nationals Park.

Scherzer beat Cole in the opener, but was scratched just three hours before game time because of an irritated nerve near his neck that could end his World Series. With the road team winning every time so far, Houston head home with a chance to claim their second title in three years.

Donald Trump was in attendance at Nationals Park on Sunday night, and was loudly booed by the home crowd when he appeared on the stadiums video screens.

Up next

Nationals: StephenStrasburg is 4-0 with a 1.93 ERA this postseason. He won the wild-card game in relief, then won starts against the Dodgers, Cardinals and Astros. He outpitched Justin Verlander in Game 2, giving up two runs in six innings. Strasburg led the NL with 18 victories this season.
Astros: Verlander is the only pitcher to start out 0-5 in the World Series after struggling in Game 2. Hes made six starts overall in the Fall Classic with a 5.73 ERA. Verlander went 21-6 this year and led the majors in wins, but is 1-3 with a 4.15 ERA in five postseason starts.



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