The Astros were already in control of World Series Game 4 against the Nationals on Saturday night when Alex Bregman stepped in against Fernando Rodney with the bases loaded and one out in the top of the seventh. They were up 4-1 at the time, and given the diminishing number of outs the Nats had left that translated to a 92.5 percent chance of winning Game 4 and making it 2-2 in the best-of-seven series. Bregman, though, thought things weren't quite certain enough.
Rodney delivered a two-seamer low and inside, and Bregman delivered a grand slam down the left field line:
That one left the bat at 100 mph and traveled 392 feet. It made the score 8-1, which proved to be the final in the series-tying victory for Houston.
Rodney -- who got Bregman out in a bases-loaded situation following an intentional walk in Game 3 -- became the eighth former All-Star to give up a home run to Bregman in the postseason. In defense of Rodney, though, it was hardly a meatball:
Bregman's now got nine postseason home runs in just 41 games. He joins Ken Boyer (1964 Cardinals) as the only third basemen to hit a grand slam in the World Series. It was the first World Series grand slam since Addison Russell hit one for the Cubs in 2016 and the first by an American League player since Paul Konerko of the White Sox crushed one in the 2005 Fall Classic.
Bregman came into Saturday's tilt batting just .077/.143/.308 through the first three games of this World Series while also struggling in the field, and that came after a subpar ALCS. In the first inning of Game 4, however, he notched an RBI single, and then came the grand slam. Slump over, it would seem.
"He's one of the best players in baseball. But it is nice to see him crack a smile when he comes up big with a big swing and he enjoys the moment," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said.
This is more in line with what we've come to expect from the guy who may win the AL MVP award this season. Jose Urquidy was beyond Houston's hopes on the mound in the early innings, and Michael Brantley continues to be a hits machine. Bregman, though, provided the dagger.