HOUSTON (Nexstar) — If you ask Carlos Correa, the Astros found their swagger.
After the team lost the first two games of the World Series at home to the Washington Nationals, Correa, the team’s shortstop huddled up with second baseman José Altuve.
“I said ‘José we need to get our swagger back. We are getting hits and we are not even getting hyped up. We are scoring runs and it feels like a regular game. This is the World Series. This is our last series of the season, we need to play like it,'” he told reporters Sunday night.
After his pep talk, the team found that swagger. They won three straight in D.C. and brought the series back home, where they have a chance to win their second title in three seasons by winning Game 6.
“27 more outs and a W,” relief pitcher Joe Smith told reporters Monday afternoon.
Manager A.J. Hinch said no matter how the series started, it’s about how it ends that matters.
“We have a good team,” he said Monday. “It’s a seven-game series, we’re going to be fine.”
Houston and Washington largely took Monday off to reset physically and mentally ahead of Game 6.
“You’ve just got to go out and play,” Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki said Monday. “You can’t worry about what’s at stake and this and that.”
“We’ve just got to go out there and play baseball,” he said. “We can’t control the future, we just control what’s at present right now, and that’s going out there and competing.”
Both teams will send out All-Star pitchers in a rematch of Game 2 of the series. The Astros will start Justin Verlander and the Nationals will start Stephen Strasburg.