The Washington Nationals erased a 2-0 deficit after five innings, scoring six late, unanswered runs to win Game 7 of the World Series by a 6-2 final over the Houston Astros.
Patrick Corbin earned the win with three innings of scoreless relief behind Max Scherzer, who gutted out five innings while allowing two runs.
Nationals Escaped Elimination All Postseason
The victory ended an incredible run for the Nationals, who started the regular season slowly, then saw themselves on the brink of elimination several times during the postseason.
It also ended the most improbable World Series – perhaps the most improbable seven game series in any major American sport – ever, as it was the first time that all seven games were won by the road team. That made the Nationals the only team to ever win a seven-game series without winning a single game at home.
“What a story,” Ryan Zimmerman said after the win. “The way this game went is the way our whole season went.”
Washington came from behind to win five elimination games during the playoffs, a record-setting performance that became the hallmark of the team.
“We stuck together,” said Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon. “We had nothing else to lose. We were facing elimination games when people never thought we should’ve been there in the first place, and we just kept on fighting, and we finished on top.”
The Astros opened the scoring with a Yuli Gurriel homer in the second inning off of Scherzer. In the fifth, Gurriel also scored the second run of the game, as Carlos Correa singled him home to give Houston a 2-0 lead.
Decision to Pull Greinke May Haunt Astros
The game flipped in the top of the seventh. After Rendon homered with one out, Juan Soto worked a walk. That’s when Astros manager A.J. Hinch made the controversial decision to pull starter Zack Greinke from the game, despite the fact that he had put in a dominant performance to that point. Greinke left having thrown just 80 pitches in 6.1 innings while allowing two hits.
He would also eventually be charged with two runs on the night. Will Harris came into the game, and surrendered two-run home run to Howie Kendrick that gave Washington a 3-2 lead. After Harris then gave up a single to Asdrubal Cabrera, he was pulled in favor of Roberto Osuna, but the damage had already been done.
“I was pitching good,” Greinke said afterwards. “They got a good lineup, especially the top of the order. It’s tough to get through no matter one time, two times, three times. All of them are tough.”
Gerrit Cole was even warming up in the bullpen in the fifth inning. But rather than scare the Nationals, it gave them hope that they might get Greinke out of the game.
“When we saw Cole warming up, we were almost like, ‘Please bring him in,’” Nationals hitting coach Kevin Long said. “Because that’s how good Zack Greinke was.”
Despite the loss, the Houston Astros will head into next season as the favorites to win the 2020 World Series. Houston is a +500 pick to win next year’s championship at FanDuel Sportsbook, while the Nationals are +1400 to repeat as champions.