Nationals win World Series


US Department of Defense

Matthew Szymanowski, Deputy Sports Editor

After losing their best player to free agency in March and starting the year 19-31, the Washington Nationals turned their season around and won the World Series.

Following seven years with franchise player Bryce Harper and never winning a playoff series, he decided to test the free-agent market and sign a mega-deal with the Philadelphia Phillies.

At the beginning of the season, the Washington Nationals looked like they might have to go into rebuild mode.

They started off an appalling 19-31, lost ace starting pitcher Max Scherzer to an injury, and were not getting production from key players.

Then their season started to turn around.

Led by MVP candidate Anthony Rendon and 20-year-old outfielder Juan Soto, the Nationals started to find their winning ways.

Rookie outfielder Victor Robles started giving the Nationals the production they needed to fill the hole made by Bryce Harper. Max Scherzer fought his way back to the team and dominated on the mound while Stephen Straburg started to look like his rookie self.

They also made some moves near the trade deadline to boost their roster.

Veteran second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera was acquired to replace a struggling Brian Dozier, Daniel Hudson was picked up from the Blue Jays to bolster their bullpen, and fan-favorite Gerardo Parra was picked up to come off the bench.

At the end of the year, the Nationals found their way into the postseason to host the Brewers in the wildcard game.

After trailing 3-1 in the 8th inning, outfielder Juan Soto delivered a bases-clearing hit to give them the lead. They eventually won to play the Dodgers.

With the series tied at two with the Dodgers, Howie Kendrick hit a grand slam to give them the lead. They won the series 3-2.

Then the Nationals took on the Cardinals and swept them in four games to advance to play the Astros in the World Series.

After taking the first two games in Houston, it looked like the Nationals were a lock to win it all.

Then they came home. With the whole city behind them, they lost three consecutive games at home and fell behind 3-2 in the series. They had to go to Houston and win the next two to win it all.

In Game 6, it was the Stephen Strasburg show. He led the Nationals to a 7-2 victory to force a game seven.

In Game 7, the Nationals bats were kept silent for the first five innings and the Astros were up 2-0.

Then Anthony Rendon got the party started. He hit a solo home run in the sixth to cut the Astros lead in half. Following a walk to Juan Soto, Howie Kendrick hit a two-run home run to give the Nationals a 3-2 lead.

The Nationals would score three more runs in the game while their bullpen shut the door.

The Washington Nationals defeated the Houston Astros 6-2 in Game 7 to win the World Series.

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