Three takeaways from Nationals’ win over Astros in World Series Game 7

The Nationals are world champions.

After its 6-2 win over Houston in Game 7 of the World Series on Wednesday, Washington clinched its first title in franchise history. 

The team rallied from a 3-2 series deficit to win Games 6 and 7 in Houston and shock the 107-win Astros. After trailing as late as the eighth inning in the National League wild-card game against Milwaukee earlier this postseason, the Nationals regrouped and are now world champs.

Three takeaways from Nationals’ win over Astros in World Series Game 7

Max Scherzer bent, but didn’t break

After dealing with neck and back spasms in the days leading up to Game 7, Scherzer took the mound for Washington with its season on the line and did what he was asked.

Despite traffic on the base paths all night, Scherzer managed to limit the damage to just two runs in his five innings of work. He consistently found ways to get the Astros’ hitters out on a night when he didn’t have his best stuff. 

The 35-year-old allowed seven hits and two earned runs while striking out three and walking four before Patrick Corbin relieved him at the start of the sixth inning. His performance is all the more remarkable considering the injury he was dealing with was so painful he reportedly wore a neck brace on the team’s flight to Houston on Monday.

Washington seemed to even play better in all of Scherzer’s starts this postseason. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Washington went 10-0 in games started by Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg this postseason.

Home-field advantage was a myth

They call it home-field advantage for a reason. But this World Series proved the exact opposite.

Washington’s win marks the first instance of the road team winning every game in a postseason series in MLB history. It’s such a rare phenomenon, the feat had never been pulled off in any postseason series in either the NHL or NBA either.

The Nationals might as well have called Minute Maid Park home because Nationals Park was anything but this series. Washington scored three runs combined in Games 3, 4 and 5 in D.C. while in Games 1, 2, 6 and 7, it scored 30.

Washington also posted an 8-1 record on the road this postseason, including eight straight after dropping Game 1 of the National League Division Series to the Dodgers. 

Washington’s bullpen was rock solid

Once Washington manager Dave Martinez handed the game over to his bullpen, the game was over.

Patrick Corbin and Daniel Hudson combined for four shutout innings, allowing just two hits while striking out seven and walking none. Over the 35 at-bats Houston saw on the night, it left a collective 10 runners on base and plated just two runs. 

While the Astros’ hitters left much to be desired with their performance at the plate these last two games, much can be said about how good Washington’s bullpen was.

The victory is even sweeter for Hudson who was released by the Angels in March and then spent most of the season with the Blue Jays before he was dealt to the Nationals at the trade deadline.

In hindsight, the deal to acquire Hudson and the signing of Corbin in free agency have paid dividends for the Nats.

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