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MLB

Washington Nationals shock Astros for first World Series win

The Washington Nationals are champions following Wednesday's Game 7 triumph claiming their first ever World Series win.

Washington Nationals shock Astros for first World Series win
JOHN G. MABANGLO EFE

The Washington Nationals clinched their first World Series title after beating the Houston Astros 6-2.

Wednesday's Game 7 victory guided the Nationals to an historic MLB triumph over the Astros.

The Nationals 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 the Milwaukee Brewers earlier this postseason, the Nationals regrouped and are now champions.

Three takeaways from the Nationals' win over the 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, Max Scherzer took the mound for Washington with their 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 did not 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.

Max Scherzer #31 of the Washington Nationals attempts a pickoff to first base against the Houston Astros during the third inning in Game Seven of the 2019 World Series at Minute Maid Park on October 30, 2019

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 is 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, they 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 Los Angeles Dodgers. 

Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer (31) throws to Houston Astros right fielder Josh Reddick (22) during the second inning in game seven of the 2019 World Series at Minute Maid Park.

Washington's bullpen were rock solid

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

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

Washington Nationals players celebrate as GM Mike Rizzo and Manager Dave Martinez (R) hoist the Commissioner's Trophy after defeating the Houston Astros in the MLB 2019 World Series game seven at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas, USA, 30 October 2019.

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 were.

The victory is even sweeter for Hudson, who was released by the Los Angeles Angels in March and then spent most of the season with the Toronto 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.