Their mantra has always been “Stay in the fight.” And that’s exactly what they did after going down 3-2 heading into Game 6. The Nationals, however, are no strangers to playing from behind.
- 12 games under .500 in May.
- Down by 3 runs in the 8th inning of the Wild Card Game.
- Down late in the NLDS against the Dodgers.
- Heck, historically they should have lost the World Series by now.
The Astros were adopted by the darkness, but the Nationals were born into it.
And now they’ll play one more for all the marbles.
Game 6 provided a rematch of Game 2, the last game to be played in Houston until tonight. The Nationals took that game 12-3, after keeping the game locked in a 2-2 tie heading into the 7th inning.
Justin Verlander took the mound in Game 6 looking to find his pre-World Series rhythm. The uncharacteristic Game 2 performance from JV saw him give up 4 earned runs in 6 innings pitched. Although to his credit, Verlander did hold the Nationals to just two runs until Kurt Suzuki took him deep to open the 7th. From there it was mayhem.
Strasburg cruised through Game 2, proving that he was the most competent pitcher on the Nationals staff this postseason. Finally, after what seemed lek a century of waiting, the Nationals had their guy on the mound in the biggest series of his career, and he was showing up.
Which brings us to Game 6.
Game 6 began more like Game 1, with the Nationals getting Trea Turner on and getting him around to score in a matter of moments. This Nationals team’s strength is their speed, something we haven’t really seen since the early days of this series.
But the bottom half of the inning was all Astros. George Springer took the first pitch he saw from Strasburg and put it up against the wall in left. A wild pitch, and a José Altuve sac-fly later, Springer would score, tying the game at 1-1. Alex Bregman then took Strasburg into the Crawford boxes to give the Astros the upper hand.
From there we had a lot of white-knuckling, as both aces pitched out of jam after jam, until the bottom of the 5th. On Justin Verlander’s 79th pitch, Adam Eaton took him deep to right field, tying the game at 2.
Not one to be shown up, Juan Soto followed him by launching a mammoth moonshot. To cap off the back-to-back jacks, Soto carried his bat down the first baseline, similar to the way Bregman did on his first-inning dong.
Then came the moment that almost ruined the World Series for everyone.
Let’s just put it like this. In one of the worst calls I have ever seen in any sport in my lifetime, Sam Holbrook, the home plate umpire, almost handed the World Series to the Houston Astros on a swinging bunt from Trea Turner.
And then Davey Martinez got tossed.
We’ll be talking about this for weeks to come.
And then Anthony Rendon sent a two-run home run to left field, putting the Nationals on top 5-2. And then he would put the Nationals up for good with a 2-run double later on.
7-2. GAME 7.
Not to mention, after his tough first inning, Stephen Strasburg went on to only give up two hits over his next 7 innings. If there was ever a time to be locked in, it was this game and he delivered.
At times like this, it’s hard not to love this insane game of baseball.
Get your heart pills ready, Grandma. We’re going to Game 7.
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