Game 1 matchup of Gerrit Cole vs. Max Scherzer was the much anticipated Fall Classic pitching firepower everyone was looking forward to. Two of the best strikeout pitchers of the decade facing off in the World Series should add up to an exciting pitching duel, but the Nationals got to Gerrit Cole and handed him his first loss since May 22.
Although the Astros struck in the first off a 2 run double by Yuli Gurriel, the Nats came answering back. It was fitting that 35-year-old Ryan Zimmerman hit the first World Series home run in franchise history, while 20-year-old sensation Juan Soto followed up with a homer and 3 RBIs.
Max Scherzer didn’t dominate the Houston offense, but he labored through 5 innings and managed to get the win while only giving up 2 first-inning runs.
The shaky Washington bullpen, the teams biggest concern all year, let up 2 earned runs in relief, and although they had the team on the edge of their seats, the relievers got the job done, including a 4 out save from Sean Doolittle.
With a 19-0 record in his last 25 starts and a minuscule 0.40 ERA in 22 2/3 postseason innings, Cole proved that he is human by letting up 5 earned runs. Houston has no cause for concern, however, as they lost by only 1 run and have co-ace Justin Verlander slotted for Game 2 at home.