The Houston Astros came into the nation's capital on Friday night and defeated the Washington Nationals 4-1, thus avoiding an insuperable 3-0 deficit in the World Series.
Houston started Zack Greinke lasted just 4.2 innings, but he only allowed one run on seven hits and three walks while striking out six. Reliever Josh James earned the winning decision.
It was a blown opportunity for the Nationals, who could have put a giant stranglehold on the series on Friday night. Instead, they'll have win the next two games at home, or else Dave Martinez and company will have to try and clinch the Fall Classic in Houston.
And according to this interesting stat from ESPN Stats & Info, history is against the Nationals ahead of their Game 4 showdown with Houston:
The Nationals were the fifth team in the last 40 years to win the first two games of a World Series on the road.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 26, 2019
Of the previous four, the one who won Game 3 went on to sweep.
The three who didn't went on to lose the series. pic.twitter.com/qqmYX8NFvD
It's been 20 years since a team won the first two games on the road in the World Series. In 1999, the New York Yankees were victorious in Games 1 and 2 against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field - and they went on to sweep the series en route to their third World Championship in four years. New York would three-peat one year later.
In the 1996 World Series, the Braves stunned the Yankees by winning the first two games on the road -- outscoring New York 16-1 over those two games. However, the Yankees rallied to win four straight games to earn their first World Series in the Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera era.
The Astros are turning to 24-year-old José Urquidy for Game 4, although they're likely to rely heavily on the bullpen arms in this one. Washington will start offseason free agent signing Patrick Corbin in tonight's pivotal contest.
History Means Nothing, But Pressure Is On Nats
Obviously, previous Fall Classics have nothing to do with how the Nats and Astros perform tonight. History simply doesn't matter in this one, but all the pressure is on Washington now - having won the first two games. The Astros just need one more victory to ensure that the series goes back to Houston, and it's up to the Nationals to ensure the series ends here in D.C.