Blum: Nationals Need Game 1 More Than Astros

If the Nationals lose Game 1 of the World Series, Game 2 essentially becomes a "must-win situation"

Taz and the Moose
October 22, 2019 - 10:37 am
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The Washington Nationals have won six straight postseason games, including a sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS. The Nationals outscored the Cardinals 20-6 in that series, while the Houston Astros needed six games to outlast the New York Yankees.

While the layoff could hurt the Nationals from a rhythm standpoint, it very much helps their rotation.

“The Nationals had a chance to set up their rotation, so they’re going to go with Max Scherzer first,” former MLB infielder and current Astros analyst Geoff Blum said on Taz & The Moose. “The way things have worked out, the Astros get to go with one of their better pitchers in Gerrit Cole. That’s where the importance of winning Game 1 is.”

Scherzer and Cole will square off in Game 1 of the World Series in Houston on Tuesday.

“If you have a chance to beat the No. 1 for the opposing team, it does a couple of things,” Blum said. “It puts a loss on that team, and it also lets the other team know, ‘Hey, we just beat your No. 1 guy, and now we’re going to go out and face your No. 2.’ Even though it’s a guy like Strasburg, who’s very good, it kind of puts them in a must-win situation in that Game 2 to try and split on the road, which is what you’re trying to do.”

Justin Verlander and Stephen Strasburg will square off in Game 2 on Wednesday.

“I think anytime you have a chance to beat a No. 1 and really try and set the tone for a seven-game series like this, a condensed series where every win means so much, winning that first game is huge,” Blum said, “not just for the numbers getting closer to that fourth win, but also for the mentality of the team.”

Click below to listen to Blum's interview in its entirety.