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Oct, 2019

Our Washington Nationals Are World Champions!

With six runs in the final three innings, the Washington Nationals rally to overtake Houston 6-2 in Game 7 and win the World Series 4 games to 3.

One of the most bizarre World Series in history ended in one of the biggest upsets Wednesday when the Washington Nationals caught and passed the Houston Astros in the late innings 6-2 Wednesday night in Houston.

Considering that they started the season 19-31, the outcome was nearly as unlikely as the Nats’ method, which involved beating the Astros four straight times in Houston while losing all three of their games in Washington.  In the Series, Washington rallied the same way it had all season, behind manager Dave Martinez‘s mantra: ‘Stay in the fight.’

The Washington Nationals victory overturned a brilliant effort by Houston starter Zack Greinke, who for most of the evening appeared poised to make Astros GM Jeff Luhnow look like a certified genius. At the July trade deadline, Luhnow swapped four guys you’ll never hear of to Arizona for Greinke.

In return, Greinke gave the Astros six often pristine innings, allowing just two hits. He left with a 2-1 lead after allowing Anthony Rendon to homer with one out in the seventh and walking Juan Soto, Astros manager A.J. Hinch removed him for one of his bullpen aces, Will Harris.

To that point, Greinke had thrown only 80 pitches, and the 16 batted balls off him left bats at an average velocity of just 87 mph. Until Rendon’s homer, only three of those 16 had left the infield. Greinke, in other words, was totally on his game.

Harris was not. The first batter he faced, Howie Kendrick, drilled a fastball off the right-field foul pole for a two-run home run to give Washington its first lead of the night. From that instant onward, the Senators essentially pummeled the Astros pen.  In the final three innings, the Nats paraded 21 batters to the plate. Two of them homered, eight-hit safely, four walked and a half dozen of those baserunners crossed the plate.

Washington’s slash line against the Houston pen Wednesday? Try .467/.556/.556

One inning after Kendrick’s home run, the Nats added a fourth run on Juan Soto’s base hit, which drove home Adam Eaton, who had walked and stole second. They delivered the coup de grace in the ninth on Eaton’s two-run scoring single.

Max Scherzer produced a performance that was a virtual carbon copy of his Game 2 victory. That is to say, it was more effective than artistic. Scherzer allowed seven hits and walked four, but limited the damage to two runs. With runners in scoring position, the Astros got eight cracks at Scherzer but produced just one hit, Carlos Correa’s fifth-inning double that drove Michael Brantley across.

In the second, Correa had homered for the game’s first run. The victory climaxed a Series in which the home team somehow managed to lose every single game. That’s unprecedented in American sport…not just baseball sport but all professional sport.

Only your Washington Nationals! The 2019 MLB World Champions!!!

Originally published:  https://calltothepen.com/2019/10/31/2019-washington-nationals-finish-fight/