World Series recap: Nationals win in game seven thriller

Eric Cropper, Staff Writer

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The Washington Nationals came out on top in a thrilling seven game World Series. The Nats scored a total of 33 runs, giving up 30 to the American League champion, The Houston Astros. Stephen Strasburg, the former first overall pick of the 2009 draft out of San Diego State University, was crowned the Most Valuable Player of the series. Strasburg pitched in two wins throwing 14.1 innings allowing only 4 runs and striking out 14 batters. According to CBS, for the first time in history, the road team went 7-0 in the World Series outscoring the home team by a margin of 49-14. 

Game one was played in Houston with the Astros’ ace, Gerrit Cole, taking the mound and three-time Cy Young award winner, Max Scherzer, on the bump for the Nationals. The Cy Young award is the highest honor for a pitcher, the award is given to the best pitcher in the American and National League every year. The award is named after Cy Young, a pitcher who has the most wins in history with 511. The Astros jumped out to an early lead with two runs batted in (RBI) on a double off the bat of first basemen, Yuli Gurriel. However, the Nats struck back with a Ryan Zimmerman solo homerun to cut the lead in half. Juan Soto came up big, hitting a mammoth shot to left field tying the game at two. The Nationals kept the momentum going, extending their lead on an Adam Eaton RBI single. Soto struck again, crushing a two RBI double off the left field wall creating a three-run lead for the Nats. Astros’ Center fielder, George Springer, crushed a solo homerun to left field, cutting the Nats lead to two. Springer also hit an RBI double to right, cutting the lead to one. This proved to be the end of the Astros offense as Nationals closer, Sean Doolittle, closed game one out with a 5-4 Nationals victory. 

In game two, also played in Houston, Cy young award-winning pitcher, Justin Verlander, started for the Astros and Stephen Strasburg started for the Nationals. Verlander struggled early, giving up a pair of runs in the first, following an Anthony Rendon double. However, the lead did not last long Alex Bregman hit a two-run homer, tying the game at two apiece. The game stayed at a 2-2 tie until the seventh inning. Following a Kurt Suzuki homerun, a Howie Kendrick infield single, an Asdrubal Cabrera single, and a Ryan Zimmerman single, the Nationals took a commanding 8-2 lead. However, this was not the end of the Nationals’ offense, as Adam Eaton and Michael A. Taylor later hit home runs, and Asdrubal Cabrera hit another single, creating a massive 12-2 lead for the Nationals. Martin Maldonado homered in the bottom of the ninth, but this was not enough as the Nationals emerged victorious, taking a 2-0 lead in the series. 

Game three was a must-win for the Astros to avoid going down 3-0 and facing elimination for the rest of the series. The game was played in Washington D.C., and the Astros turned to Zack Greinke, who they acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks at the trade deadline. The former Cy Young award winner pitched an amazing game, allowing only one run over 4.2 innings of work. The Nationals put veteran starter, Anibal Sanchez on the mound. He pitched 5.1 innings, allowing four earned runs.  In the second inning, Houston outfielder Josh Reddick singled, scoring Carlos Correa. Jose Altuve scored on a Michael Brantley infield single. Altuve later scored on another Brantley single, and Robinson Chirinos of the Astros capped off the offense for the game with a sixth inning homer. The only run scored by Washington came in the form of a Victor Robles triple, which brought in Ryan Zimmerman. The Astros fought back but the Nationals still held a 2-1 series lead. 

Game four, also played in our nation’s capital, was a wild one. Jose Urquidy started on the mound for the Astros, and Patrick Corbin started for the Nationals. Corbin was hit hard early, giving up two runs in the first on two singles by Alex Bregman and Yuli Gurriel, scoring Michael Brantley. Juan Soto cut the Astros lead to three on a groundout scoring Gerardo Parra. Alex Bregman, the Astros third baseman, came up huge in the seventh inning. He crushed a 392-foot grand slam into the Washington D.C. sky, taking a commanding 8-1 lead. The game ended at 8-1 with the Astros tying the series at 2-2. 

Game five, the final game to be played in Washington, proved tough for the Nationals. Their ace starting pitcher, Max Scherzer was injured and unable to start, so they turned to Joe Ross. The Astros started Gerrit Cole on the mound who pitched seven innings of one run baseball, striking out nine. The Astros scored two on a Yordan Alvarez home run and two more on a Carlos Correa home run. Juan Soto stayed hot for the Nats, hitting a 383-foot home run to center field. However, this was not enough as Yuli Gurriel singled to center, scoring George Springer and bringing the Astros lead to 5-1. Finally, in the top of the ninth inning, George Springer hit a two-run homer. This brought a 7-1 lead to the Astros and took the series back to Houston with the Astros holding a 3-2 lead in the series. 

Game six returned to Houston, and so did the Nationals’ offense. Verlander continued to struggle in the World Series, allowing a run in the first inning off an Anthony Rendon single. He later gave up two home runs in the fifth to Juan Soto and Adam Eaton. Verlander left the game, with the Astros down 3-2. The Nationals then scored four more off a home run and later a double by Anthony Rendon. Strasburg was very impressive, according to Baseball Referencea baseball statistics registry. He pitched 8.1 innings while only allowing two runs on five hits and striking out seven. The Nationals won game six, tying the series at three and pushing a game seven. 

Game seven was an elimination game for both teams, with their seasons on the line. The game played in Houston was a full house. It marked the return of Max Scherzer, who had received Cortisone shots to allow him to pitch. Scherzer was back and dangerous as ever. He pitched five strong innings, allowing two runs. He gave up a Yuli Gurriel solo home run and an RBI single off the bat of Carlos Correa. Zack Greinke of the Astros was fantastic, throwing 6.1 innings, allowing two runs off of homers by Anthony Rendon and Howie Kendrick to give the Nationals a 3-2 lead. This was a turning point for the Nats as they scored three more off of singles by Juan Soto and Adam Eaton. The Nationals won 6-2, securing the World Series 4-3.  

The Nationals came out on top winning their first World Series in franchise history. An exciting high scoring series ended in seven, just like the Astros’ last World Series win in 2017. Strasburg was crowned MVP and received a Corvette as a prize for his award. This World Series was thrilling and leaves the Nationals celebrating their win, which leaves the rest of us waiting for another season of baseball next spring.