The Washington Nationals are the 2019 Major League Baseball World Series Champions after a shocking best-of-seven playoff win over pre-world series favorites the Houston Astros in the 115th edition of the World Series. The victory on Wednesday night was secured when Kendrick and Anthony Rendon hit their team’s seventh inning to overcome a two-run deficit which condemned the Houston Astros to 6-2 defeat to ultimately hand the Washington Nationals a historic first World Series title. This was an eventful “fairytale” ending to a remarkable 2019 World Series which began on 22nd October 2019.
This was the first-ever postseason meeting between these two baseball teams in a game in which Nationals’ pitcher Stephen Strasburg was adjudged the World Series Most Valuable Player (MVP). Also for the first time ever, all seven games were won by the road team.
Both teams started the 2019 Baseball season on different paths. The Nationals started the season with a win-loss record of 19-31 (.380) and ended the year with a 93-69 (.574) record. They qualified for the Series playoffs as a wild-card team after finishing second in the National League East and eventually beat the Milwaukee Brewers at home in a National League Wild Card Game. The Houston Astros however finished the 2019 regular season with a 107-55 (.660) win-loss record (the best in baseball). They went on to beat American League Wild Card game winners Tampa Bay Rays in the American League Division Series in 5 games to be crowned American League Champions. They also beat the New York Yankees in 6 games along the way.
Here is how the Astros blew their chance to win the World Series in the seven playoff games.
Game One began with a moment of silence held in honor of umpire Eric Cooper, who had died on October 20, two days earlier. Both Max Scherzer and Gerrit Cole started the match for the Nationals and the Astros respectively. Yuli Gurriel hit a two-run double with two outs, handing the Astros a 2–0 lead in the bottom of the first. In the top of the second, Ryan Zimmerman hit a solo home run to reduce the Astros’ lead to 2–1. Juan Soto led off the top of the fourth inning with a home run to tie the game, 2–2. In the process, Soto became the fourth-youngest player to hit a home run in a World Series since Andruw Jones achieved that feat back in 1996.
Late pressure from the Astros was still enough as the underdogs, the Washington Nationals won 5-4 in Game 1. This was the first time in Major League Baseball history that the Nationals won a World Series game.
Game 2 began with pitchers Stephen Strasburg and Justin Verlander starting for the Nationals and the Astros in the game respectively. Nationals’ Anthony Rendon drove in two runs with a double. Astros’ Alex Bregman then tied the game with a two-run home run in the bottom of the first. In the top of the second inning, Verlander recorded the 200th postseason strikeout of his career setting a new major league record, surpassing John Smoltz.
Kurt Suzuki hit a home run to put the Nationals ahead, 3–2. Washington later scored five more runs in the seventh off of Ryan Pressly, extending their lead to 8–2. A two-run home run by Adam Eaton plus an RBI by Asdrúbal Cabrera in the eighth inning extended the Nationals’ lead to nine runs. Victory was salvaged when a ninth-inning home run by Michael A. Taylor off of Chris Devenski extended the lead to 12–2. The game eventually ended 12-3 for the Nationals who in the process gained a 2-0 series lead.
The Astros went into Game 3 with a 2-0 deficit and seeking a win to claw back in the Series. In the second inning, Josh Reddick drove in Carlos Correa as Houston scored the game’s first run. In the third inning, José Altuve doubled and advanced to third on an error, then scored on an infield single by Michael Brantley, giving the Astros a 2–0 lead. In the bottom of the fourth, Ryan Zimmerman walked then was driven in by a Víctor Robles triple, cutting the Astros’ lead to 2–1. The Astros would go on to secure a 4–1 victory in the top of the sixth to make the tie 2-1 in favor of the Nationals.
The Astros scored early in the game, recording two runs in the first inning. Robinson Chirinos then hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning to extend Houston’s lead to 4–0. A grand slam by Alex Bregman in the seventh inning extended Houston’s lead to 8–1. The tie then became 2-2.
A two-run home run by Yordan Álvarez in the top of the second inning gave the Astros an early lead. George Springer’s two-run home run later in the top of the ninth secured Houston a 7–1 win. It then became a 3-2 lead for the Astros.
The Astros headed into Game 6 knowing a win would secure the World Series for them. However, the Nationals beat them 7-2 to even the series 3-3 to force a deciding seventh game.
Yuli Gurriel’s solo home run in the bottom of the second inning and Carlos Correa’s two-out RBI single in the bottom of the fifth inning to give the Astros the lead to 2–0. However, Seventh-inning home runs by Anthony Rendon and Howie Kendrick helped the Nationals to overturn the two-run deficit to stun the Astros 6-2 to clinch the 2019 World Series.