In a World Series in which EVERY GAME WAS WON BY THE ROAD TEAM, Washington, the biggest WS underdog since 2007, stunned Houston by winning Game 7 6-2.
It is only the second time Washington, D.C. has the World Series Champ, and it’s the first time since 1924. That team then became the Minnesota Twins in 1961.
This team started its existence as the Montreal Expos in 1969, and this is the first title in franchise history. This, the year after Bryce Harper, the face of the franchise the past few years, left to go to the Phillies in free agency.
Stephen Strasburg was named WS MVP.
Washington stunningly won the WS after starting the season 19-31. They didn’t even win their division. Down in the wild card game, they caught a break in the eighth inning against Milwaukee when Milwaukee’s RF overran the ball in trying to gun down a runner at the plate (the tying run) and as a result, the winning run came around to score.
Then in the NLDS, they took down the 106=win Dodgers. Down in the eighth inning of Game 5, they hit two HR off of Clayton Kershaw to tie the game and got a grand slam by Howie Kendrick in extra innings to win the game and series. They then swept the Cardinals in the NLCS.
In the World Series, they dispatched the 107-win Astros in unconventional fashion, winning all four games in Houston while losing all three games at home. Who’d have thought?
The Astros got off to a 2-0 lead. Yuri Gurriel hit a solo HR in the second off Max Scherzer, and Carlos Correa an RBI single in the fifth. Scherzer, who couldn’t start Game 5 because of a sore neck and who received a shot for the pain, started Game 7 and was not sharp, but kept his team in the game, giving up just two runs in five innings despite being in and out of trouble the whole time.
In the seventh, Washington took the lead with three runs. Anthony Rendon homered to cut the lead to 2-1. Juan Soto walked. Houston manager A.J. Hinch then pulled starter Zack Grienke, a move I wondered about at the time. Grienke had only given up the one run on two hits in 6 1/3 innings.
Reliever Will Harris replaced Greinke and gave up a two-run HR to Kendrick that hit the foul pole. 3-2 Nats, and they never looked back. Harris took the loss.
Patrick Corbin (who I wanted the Yanks to get last offseason when Corbin was a free agent) wound up with the win with three scoreless innings of relief.
Per MLB.com, Kendrick is the first player with multiple go-ahead home runs in the seventh inning or later in winner-take-all games in a single postseason. He also is just the second player to hit a go-ahead homer in the seventh inning or later while their team was trailing in a World Series winner-take-all game. The other was Hal Smith in 1960—the Bill Mazeroski game.
A walk to Adam Eaton, SB and RBI single by Juan Soto made it 4-2 Washington in the eighth.
The Nats tacked two more on in the ninth on a bases-loaded, 2 RBI single by Eaton. Washington got eight of their nine hits in the last three innings as Houston’s bullpen imploded.