Analysis: Washington Nationals Win First World Series, Stephen Strasburg Named MVP [VIDEO]
For the first time ever, the Washington Nationals are World Series champions.
The Nationals defeated the Houston Astros in Game seven of this year’s incredible World Series by a score of 6-2. The series is highlighted by the fact that no team won a matchup at home.
The Nats won Games one and two in Houston, where they looked unstoppable. Then, Washington scored three runs in three games at Nationals Park and lost each one before heading back to Houston while being down in the series 3-2. In an improbable turn of events, Washington “finished The Fight” and took Games six and seven on the road to win it all.
Nationals starter Max Scherzer started Game seven, allowed two runs and got in trouble almost every inning, as his best stuff was not there last night. His team couldn’t muster up any offense coming into the seventh inning. Astros starter Zack Greinke had allowed just one hit and two base-runners and looked like he would close the Nationals’ title hopes single-handedly.
Like many times this postseason, the Nats had to work late to see their magic shine through. It happened in the Wild-Card game, when they were down 3-1 in the eighth and won 4-3. It happened in the divisional series when they were down 3-1 in the eighth inning of Game five against the Dodgers and they won 7-3 in extras. That win in extras was through a grand slam by Howie Kendrick that gave Washington the lead for good. An Anthony Rendon solo homer followed by another lead-changing two-run homer by Kendrick in the seventh inning of Game seven suddenly turned the game in the Nats’ favor and they never looked back. They took the lead 3-2 and then scored three more runs in the eighth and ninth to finish the series with a 6-2 victory.
The Nats faced adversity several times and never gave in. They capped off what might have been the most impressive World Series run in recent memory. The Nationals’ three opponents after they beat the Brewers in the Wild-Card game — the Dodgers, Cardinals and Astros — combined for 304 wins, the most a World Series winner faced since the expanded playoffs began in 1995.
Washington could not be stopped by any force, not even the superpower Astros, which has won ten-plus games for the past three years. They didn’t have superhero performances from players like Rendon, Kendrick and World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg. The Astros now get a long time to think about their performance while Washington celebrates.
“I don’t think I can handle this,” Houston’s Jose Altuve said. “It’s really hard to lose Game 7 of the World Series. What I can tell you is we did everything we could. … We did everything to make it happen. We couldn’t, but that’s baseball.”
The Nationals championship parade will be held Saturday at 2 p.m. EST.