LEADING OFF: Storm over ALCS, Nats headed to World Series
A look at what’s happening around the majors today:
WEATHER OR NOT
A major storm was moving into the New York area, putting Game 4 of the AL Championship Series in peril.
The Astros lead 2-1 in the best-of-seven matchup after winning at Yankee Stadium 4-1 on Tuesday. The teams are scheduled to play at night, but that could change. The gloomy weather forecast calls for a substantial rainstorm, potentially forcing a postponement that would likely alter pitching plans for both teams.
Both clubs intended to rely on relievers Wednesday night, but a rainout would allow them to bring back the Game 1 starters on full rest in Game 4 if it gets pushed to Thursday.
Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka beat Zack Greinke in the opener last Saturday at Houston, improving to 5-2 with a 1.32 ERA in seven career postseason outings. Greinke is 0-2 with an 8.38 ERA in two starts in the playoffs this year.
If Game 4 is postponed, the ALCS would lose a travel day. After Friday night’s game in the Bronx — if the series is still going — the teams would pack up and play Game 6 in Houston on Saturday night.
The Washington Nationals will have a week to prepare for their first World Series after sweeping St. Louis in the NLCS. Patrick Corbin, MVP Howie Kendrick and the wild-card Nats finished off the Cardinals with a 7-4 win Tuesday night.
The four-game wipeout will give Washington plenty of time to set its rotation whichever way it wants with aces Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Corbin. The World Series begins Tuesday night at either Houston or Yankee Stadium.
The last time the World Series came to the nation’s capital was 1933, when the Washington Senators lost to the New York Giants in five games. The lone baseball championship for the city was in 1924, when the Senators defeated the Giants.
Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton sat out Tuesday for the second consecutive game because of a strained right quadriceps. He was replaced in the lineup by center fielder Aaron Hicks, who batted ninth in his first start since Aug. 3 due to a strained flexor near his right elbow.