Zack Greinke
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Zack Greinke limits Nationals, Astros take 4-1 win in World Series Game 3


The Astros entered Game 3 of the World Series with an 0-2 record and unbelievably bad odds of pulling off a championship title. According to’s David Adler, their comeback chances hovered around 25.7% for a series win, with a 7.8% chance of getting it done in six games and a 17.9% chance in seven. The club’s playoff hopes boiled down to a single-game performance from Zack Greinke, who had followed up his All-Star campaign with several rough outings in the ALDS and ALCS.

Luckily for the Astros, Greinke entered Friday’s game with some of the best stuff the club has seen from him this postseason. He pitched 4 2/3 innings of one-run, three-walk, six-strikeout ball, holding the Nationals to a single run and paving the path to a 4-1 win — the Astros’ first of the World Series.

Behind Greinke, the Astros’ offense consistently found opportunities to get around Aníbal Sánchez. The Nats’ right-hander took his second loss of the postseason and first since Game 3 of the NLDS, allowing 10 hits, four runs, a walk, and striking out just four of 27 batters in 5 1/3 innings. He allowed a double to Carlos Correa in the second inning, who was then driven in by Josh Reddick on a line drive to left field. In the third, José Altuve led off the inning with another double, then crossed home plate on a Michael Brantley RBI single after the ball deflected off of Sánchez.

The Nationals finally caught a break in the bottom of the fourth. With one out and Ryan Zimmerman on first, Victor Robles roped a triple off of Greinke, plating Zimmerman and getting the team on the board. It was the first and last run they’d manage off of the Astros; after Greinke departed in the fifth, Houston rotated through an inexhaustible combination of Josh James, Brad Peacock, Will Harris, Joe Smith, and Roberto Osuna to stifle any rally the Nationals might have tried to engineer.

The Astros weren’t quite done yet, however: Altuve and Brantley went back-to-back again to drive in a third run in the fifth inning. In the sixth, Robinson Chirinos hit a home run off of Sánchez, lifting a first-pitch sinker out to the left-field foul pole and padding the Astros’ lead, 4-1.

The Nationals will attempt to get the series back on track on Saturday night, when they’ll send southpaw Patrick Corbin out to the mound for his first start since Game 4 of the NLCS. The Astros — who still face some pretty unfavorable odds — have yet to name a starter; given how many relievers they trotted out in Game 3, it’s unclear who they’ll rely on for another crucial game.

Game 4 is set for Saturday evening at 8:08 PM EDT.

Washington Nationals roster and schedule for 2020

Nationals roster and schedule
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The 2020 season is now a 60-game dash, starting on July 23 and ending, hopefully, with a full-size postseason in October. Between now and the start of the season, we’ll be giving quick capsule previews of each team, reminding you of where things stood back in Spring Training and where they stand now as we embark on what is sure to be the strangest season in baseball history. First up: The Washington Nationals roster and schedule:


When the season opens on July 23-24, teams can sport rosters of up to 30 players, with a minimum of 25. Two weeks later, rosters must be reduced to 28 and then, two weeks after that, they must be reduced to 26. Teams will be permitted to add a 27th player for doubleheaders.

In light of that, there is a great degree of latitude for which specific players will break summer camp. For now, though, here are who we expect to be on the Nationals roster to begin the season:


Yan Gomes
Kurt Suzuki


Eric Thames
Starlin Castro
Carter Kieboom
Trea Turner
Howie Kendrick
Asdrúbal Cabrera


Juan Soto
Victor Robles
Adam Eaton
Michael Taylor
Andrew Stevenson


Max Scherzer
Steven Strasburg
Patrick Corbin
Aníbal Sánchez
Austin Voth
Erick Fedde


Sean Doolittle
Daniel Hudson
Will Harris
Tanner Rainey
Wander Suero
Hunter Strickland
Roenis Elías


The Nationals shocked the world last year, recovering from an abysmal start to the season to win an NL Wild Card before cutting through the Dodgers, Cardinals, and Astros to win the first championship in franchise history. While the roster is largely unchanged, there is one gaping void: the loss of third baseman Anthony Rendon, who signed with the Angels. Rendon, a perennial MVP candidate, led the majors with 126 doubles and the NL with 44 doubles while smacking 34 homers with a 1.010 OPS last season. He’ll be replaced by the young Carter Kieboom and the veteran Kendrick and Cabrera. Those are some large shoes to fill.

With Rendon out of the picture, Juan Soto becomes the crux of the Nationals’ offense. Last year, he tied Rendon with 34 homers while knocking in 110 runs. He also, impressively, drew 108 walks, by far the highest on the team. The Nationals will likely have to utilize their speed even more. Last year, Soto stole 12 bases while Adam Eaton swiped 15, Victor Robles 28, and Trea Turner 35.

As was the case in 2019, the pitching will be how the Nationals punch their ticket to the postseason. Max Scherzer finished third in Cy Young balloting, his seventh consecutive top-five finish. The club retained Stephen Strasburg and brings back Patrick Corbin as well. There really isn’t a better 1-2-3 in the game. The rotation will be rounded out by Aníbal Sánchez and one of Austin Voth or Erick Fedde, though both are likely to see starts during the season.

The back of the bullpen is led by closer Sean Doolittle, who posted an uncharacteristically high — for him — 4.05 ERA last year. He still saved 29 games and averaged better than a strikeout per inning, so they’re in good hands. Daniel Hudson and Will Harris will work the seventh and eighth innings leading up to Doolittle.

As mentioned in the Braves preview, it’s tough to make any definitive statements about a 60-game season. Variance is going to have much more of an effect than it would in a 162-game season. Additionally, the NL East is highly competitive. It would be wrong to say with any degree of confidence that the Nationals will win the NL East. For example, the updated PECOTA standings from Baseball Prospectus only project a five-game difference between first and last place in the NL East. What we can say is that the Nationals will give everyone a run for their money in 2020.


Every team will play 60 games. Teams will be playing 40 games against their own division rivals and 20 interleague games against the corresponding geographic division from the other league. Six of the 20 interleague games will be “rivalry” games.

  • July 23, 25-26: vs. Yankees
  • July 27-28: vs. Blue Jays
  • July 29-30: @ Blue Jays
  • July 31-August 2: @ Marlins
  • August 4-5: vs. Mets
  • August 7-9: vs. Orioles
  • August 10-13: @ Mets
  • August 14-16: @ Orioles
  • August 17-19: @ Braves
  • August 21-24: vs. Marlins
  • August 25-27: vs. Phillies
  • August 28-30: @ Red Sox
  • August 31-September 3: @ Phillies
  • September 4-6: @ Braves
  • September 7-8: vs. Rays
  • September 10-13: vs. Braves
  • September 15-16: @ Rays
  • September 18-20: @ Marlins
  • September 21-23: vs. Phillies
  • September 24-27: vs. Mets

The entire Nationals schedule can be seen here.