Nationals beat long odds in magical
World Series run
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[October 31, 2019]
(Reuters) - The Washington
Nationals fought back from deficits, overcame a series of injuries
and fended off a long list of powerful opponents on the way to
capturing their first Major League Baseball World Series title.
Washington’s 6-2 Game Seven victory over the Houston Astros on
Wednesday was symbolic of the team’s journey this season.
They trailed 2-0 at Minute Maid Park but rallied in the seventh
inning where they delivered a go-ahead home run by 36-year-old Howie
Kendrick, who a year earlier had suffered a career-threatening
Starting pitcher Max Scherzer had to produce a much quicker
turnaround. An irritated nerve in his neck forced him to miss his
scheduled Game Five Start on Sunday when he was unable to even dress
Battling through adversity has been the name of the game for the
Nationals all season long.
“This is the most resilient bunch of guys,” Nationals manager Dave
Martinez said. “They believed in each other. The biggest thing for
us was never quit. We stayed in the fight – we won the fight.”
Scherzer said the team had come through the wars together.
“These guys battled. It was the next guy up, everyone gave their
all,” he added. “One through 25 is the only way I can describe (this
team). Energy, camaraderie, belief in one another."
There were plenty of moments that made it difficult to believe in
They lost franchise cornerstone Bryce Harper in the off-season after
he signed a massive deal with the Philadelphia Phillies.
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MLB commissioner Rob Manfred presents the Washington Nationals with
the Commissioners Trophy after defeating the Houston Astros in game
seven of the 2019 World Series at Minute Maid Park. The Washington
Nationals won the World Series winning four games to three.
Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
They stumbled out of the gate with a 19-31 start to the season that
put pressure on manager Martinez, who earlier in the year underwent
a procedure following a heart scare.
The Nationals scratched out a Wild Card berth in the National League
and trailed Milwaukee 3-0 in the one-game eliminator before a late
burst brought them home.
Next up was the NL’s best team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, whom they
snuck past in extra innings of a Game Five decider thanks to a
Kendrick grand slam. Washington swept St. Louis in the NLCS and took
the first two games on the road against the MLB’s top squad, the
Houston fought back to win the next three in Washington but the
Nationals would not be denied, clinching their maiden Fall Classic
by winning the last two games of the World Series in Houston.
Ryan Zimmerman, the franchise’s first ever draft pick in 2005, said
Wednesday's game capped an incredible year “What a story,” Zimmerman
said. “What a fun year. The way this game went tonight is the way
our whole season went.”
(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter
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