Astros expect frustrated Bregman to rebound in World Series

Astros expect frustrated Bregman to rebound in World Series
Houston Astros' Alex Bregman reacts after striking out during the ninth inning of Game 1 of the baseball World Series against the Washington Nationals Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

HOUSTON (AP) — The chants of “M-V-P!, M-V-P!” still break out from the crowd each time Alex Bregman comes to the plate at home for the Houston Astros.

After Bregman struck out three times while going 0 for 4 with a walk in Game 1 of the World Series, including two strikeouts with runners on base in a 5-4 loss to Washington, the third baseman was 3 for 22 (.136) with one RBI since the start of the AL Championship Series.

“It’s rare to see him kind of mentally frustrated, but yet if anyone is equipped to figure it out, it’s Alex Bregman,” manager AJ Hinch said Wednesday.

Bregman has continued to get on base, with seven walks in six ALCS games against the New York Yankees, but he had only one extra-base hit in that span. His only homer this postseason was in Game 2 of the AL Division Series against Tampa Bay, after hitting .296 with 41 homers and 112 RBIs in the regular season.

“He’s incredibly accountable to himself and he takes a lot of responsibility for our club, for our offense,” Hinch said. “He’s Alex Bregman, he wants to be perfect, he has high standards for himself.”

NATS GAME 3 STARTER

Right-hander Aníbal Sánchez will start Game 3 on Friday night when the Nationals play their first World Series home game.

Washington manager Dave Martinez isn’t saying yet if Patrick Corbin, who was 14-7 in the regular season, will be the Game 4 starter on Saturday night. Corbin threw a scoreless inning in Game 1, his fourth relief appearance this postseason.

“I talked to Corbin a little bit. He’s going to go throw today and we’ll see how he feels after he plays catch,” Martinez said before Game 2. “These guys, they’re all in. And this is based on a conversation I have with them every day.”

Sánchez has allowed one run in 12 2/3 innings in two postseason starts. He had 7 2/3 scoreless innings against St. Louis in Game 1 of the NL Championship Series on Oct. 11.

Corbin was the winning pitcher in the pennant-clinching 7-4 win over the Cardinals on Oct. 15, when he gave up all four runs in five innings.

Zack Greinke is Houston’s starter for Game 3.

___

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports