- - Tuesday, October 22, 2019

HOUSTON — The Washington Nationals were facing perhaps the most feared pitcher in baseball – Houston Astros ace Gerrit Cole — in Game 1 of the World Series at Minute Maid Park.

He came into the game Tuesday night having won all three of his postseason starts, allowing just 1 earned run in 22 2/3 innings pitched.

He is likely your American League Cy Young Award winner, with a 20-5 regular season record, and he was in control early against the Nationals, staked to a 2-0 lead in the first inning on an two-run double by Yuri Gurriel off a struggling Max Scherzer.

Already the hole the Nationals were in seemed deep.  But then Ryan Zimmerman came to the plate in the second inning and blasted a mammoth solo home run in his first World Series at bat over the center field wall to cut Houston’s lead to 2-1.

He got back to the dugout and delivered a message to his teammates — this guy can be hit.    Juan Soto listened.

The 20-year-old phenom who will celebrate his 21st birthday Friday hit his own moon shot over the left field wall in the fourth inning to tie the game at 2-2, and then, after the Nationals took a 3-2 lead in the fifth inning on a sacrifice fly by Trea Turner, Soto came up two batters later and sent a blast against the left field wall for a two-run double and a 5-2 Washington lead, on their way to a 5-4 victory in Game 1 of the World Series.

Cole was indeed human.

Soto may be other worldly.

The win gives the Nationals a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series, and takes away the Astros’ home field advantage. 

The winner of the first game of the World Series has gone on to win the series nearly 62 percent of the time.



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