Russell: "Colossal Failure In Pretty Much Every Way" For Nats

The Nationals were outscored 19-3 in Games 3-5 of the World Series

October 29, 2019 - 9:09 am
Adam Eaton Nationals Astros World Series

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Two games into the World Series, the Washington Nationals were flying high. They held a 2-0 lead over the Houston Astros, they had won eight straight playoff games overall, and they looked unbeatable.

Then the three games in D.C. happened. The Nationals lost 4-1, 8-1 and 7-1 and return to Houston trailing 3-2 in the series.

What the heck happened?

“I think they were tight, which is weird because you just kicked Verlander and Gerrit Cole’s ass in Houston,” D.C.’s 106.7 The Fan host Chris Russell said on Ferrall on the Bench. “You think you’d be anything but tight; you’d be loose, especially this team, which has been dancing all year in the dugout and doing this Baby Shark thing every time Gerardo Parra comes up. But I think they were tight. I think they put too much pressure on themselves at home to maybe sweep, get it done in five, to win the World Series, and maybe they just tried to overdo it a little bit too much against Greinke and the kid (Jose Urquidy), who, really, nobody had ever heard of on Saturday night. And of course by the time you get to Sunday, it’s Gerrit Cole, and he’s just throwing darts.”

After erupting for 17 runs in two games in Houston, the Nationals mustered just three runs in three games in front of their home fans.

“They didn’t hit a lick at all,” Russell said. “They were terrible with runners in scoring position, they hit into untimely double plays, they expanded the strike zone, they got a bad strike zone (in Game 5) – I think we all saw that – and then the starting pitching, quite honestly, wasn’t good enough. Max Scherzer gets scratched, but (Joe) Ross gave up a couple of bombs, Anibal Sanchez was not great – I guess he competed – and Patrick Corbin stunk on Saturday night. It was kind of a colossal failure in pretty much every way for the Nationals.”

Nats fans have been craving a World Series title for the better part of a decade. They’ve watched their team lose in the NLDS four times from 2012-17. How would they react to a World Series loss? Especially after leading 2-0?

“I think most Nationals fans are going to be like, ‘This was a great season. This is gravy,’” Russell said, “whereas I think you should be frustrated. I think you should be disappointed. I don’t think you can be angry. Again, they were 19-31 on Memorial Day weekend. Nobody expected this. They had a one-percent chance of making the playoffs on Memorial Day weekend, and here they are in the World Series. So even if they go down in six or seven, I don’t think anybody should be angry or upset, but I can understand because I am. I would be. I think they are. I can understand the disappointment and frustration because you had a 2-0 lead and then it completely collapsed on you.”