Connor Watson, Staff Writer
After a pitiful performance in the National League Championship Series from the Saint Louis Cardinals, the Washington Nationals are making a franchise-first appearance in the World Series. Their opponents in the contest are the Houston Astros, a team built on high-octane offensive ability and a starting pitching staff like something off a video game.
Game 1 was played on Tuesday, Oct. 22; the Nationals traveled to Houston, the Astros having homefield advantage, where Astros starter, Gerrit Cole, faced off against Nationals starter, Max Scherzer.
Cole seemed unbeatable this playoff month and, for that matter, this season. He was so good, in fact, the last time he lost a game was May 22. Since that time, up until Game 1, he had 25 straight starts with a 19-0 record, 1.59 ERA, and 258 strikeouts—an unbelievable feat, almost comparable to Jack Flaherty of the Saint Louis Cardinals and his second-half resurgence. However, as alluded to, Cole’s World Series outing did not reflect his recent work on the mound. His line for the night went as followed: 7.0 innings pitched, 5 ER, 1 BB, and 6 K’s. Giving up five runs is most uncharacteristic, but it does prove what we’ve all been wondering: he is in fact human – maybe.
Scherzer, was let off the hook in Game 1. His line: 5.0 innings pitched, 2 ER, 3 BB, 7 K’s. His pitch count reached 112 pitches. Cole pitched a full two more innings and amassed eight pitches less at 104 pitches on the night. It is clear that Scherzer was having issues controlling his pitches. Regardless, the Nationals took Game 1 by a score of 5-4, Game 2 will be Wednesday, Oct. 23, pitching that night will be Nationals pitcher, Stephan Strasburg, against Astros pitcher, Justin Verlander. Both pitchers have had dominating performances this post-season, so it will be interesting to see how the offenses respond to their counterparts on the mound.
The NFL has reached its halfway point in the season: Week 8. So far, this season is interesting in the NFL. In some respects, teams are right where they should be, and in other aspects some teams are in places where they were not expected. I am of course referencing the San Francisco 49ers, who are still undefeated at a record of 6-0. They have been the biggest surprise this season and owe quite a bit of their success to their defense, who have given up only 64 points on the season. They hold a decisive win over recent NFC Champions the Los Angeles Rams.
On the other side of the league, the New England Patriots are also undefeated, seated atop first place with a record of 7-0. Though, they perhaps need an asterisk next to their wins. The Patriots have, so far, had the easiest schedule in football. They defeated teams who have a combined win total of 11 wins. Five of those wins are from the Bills, who are second in the AFC East.
Not every division is so cut and dry, though, the AFC South’s teams are all within one game of each other. The Indianapolis Colts, after Andrew Luck’s retirement, have done very well, maintaining first place in the division. Quarterback Jacoby Brissettwas awarded AFC Offensive Player of the Week for Week 7; Brissett completed 26 of 39 passes for 326 yards and four touchdowns. He has solidly replaced Andrew Luck, and he has kept a season, looked on early with despair, afloat. These next few weeks could prove pivotal to many teams looking to reserve a seat in the playoffs.