Scott Edwards ‘21
The World Series has officially come and gone as the Washington Nationals have been crowned the new world champion for the first time ever. It was a series that had every unexpected turn baseball fans can imagine, especially because it went down to Game 7 (the best words in sports).
Despite the Nationals being the ultimate underdogs, star power was alive and well in this series as the Houston Astros fell, stopping their hopes at chasing dynasty for the second straight year. For the first time in history, the road team won every single game in the World Series and home turf meant nothing. It all came down to who pitched and when they did.
Jumping into Game 1: it was the matchup of matchups as Astros’ Gerrit Cole was feeling it all postseason long and establishing himself as the best pitcher in baseball this season. On the other side was Max Scherzer, a man who has been the best pitcher in baseball for most of the 2010s. Cole had not lost since May, but managed to take the L in Game 1 following an onslaught by the Nats.
Game 2 was much of the same, but this time Stephen Strasburg proved he was not only worth every penny and the draft pick when he was taken, but he is one of the premiere playoff pitchers in history. He outdueled Justin Verlander to put the Nationals up 2-0 heading home.
In Games 3 and 4, the Astros’ bats came alive as third baseman Alex Bregman completely escaped his slump on the way to tying up the series.
In Game 5 it was a chance for one of these two teams to get the advantage. It was supposed to be Cole-Scherzer once again, but Scherzer woke up that morning not being able to lift his right arm, seemingly ending his series. Cole took advantage, pitching a one-run masterpiece on their way to going up 3-2 and getting their second World Series title in three years.
In Game 6, Strasburg flat out dealt in order to get his teammates a shot in Game 7, once again outperforming Verlander to tie the series up at three.
Finally, Game 7 of the World Series was one of the absolute best games in sports. Somehow, someway, Max Scherzer managed to get his arm going and start the biggest game of his life. And masterful innings he delivered, giving up two runs in five innings, but unfortunately for him, Astros starter Zack Greinke was having the start of his life. It was one mistake to Anthony Rendon as a change down and was sent over the left field wall to make it 2-1. He then walked phenom Juan Soto, getting removed from the game to a standing ovation. Too bad for him it wouldn’t be long until the lead he left with was gone as Howie Kendrick uncorked a two-run home run off the right field foul pole to take the lead in the seventh inning 3-2.
The Nationals added more to make it 6-2 going into the bottom of the ninth as closer Daniel Huston stepped on the rubber. A third strike on a swing was called against Michael Brantley and the Nationals became World Champions for the first time.
Stephen Strasburg was honored with the World Series MVP award following his two clutch performances and going 5-0 in the postseason.
Congratulations to the 2019 World Series Champions: the Washington Nationals!