2019 World Series

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2019 World Series
2019 World Series Logo.svg
Team (Wins)Manager(s) Season
Washington Nationals (4) Dave Martinez 93–69 (.574)
Houston Astros (3) A. J. Hinch 107–55 (.660)
DatesOctober 22–30
MVP Stephen Strasburg (Washington)
Umpires Lance Barksdale, Gary Cederstrom (crew chief), Doug Eddings, Sam Holbrook, James Hoye, Alan Porter (Games 1–2), [note 1] Jim Wolf (Games 3–7) [note 1] [1]
ALCS Houston Astros defeated New York Yankees, 4–2
NLCS Washington Nationals defeated St. Louis Cardinals, 4–0
Broadcast
Television Fox (United States – English)
Fox Deportes (United States – Spanish)
MLB International (International - English)
TV announcers Joe Buck, John Smoltz, Ken Rosenthal and Tom Verducci (Fox)
Rolando Nichols, Edgar Gonzalez and Carlos Álvarez (Fox Deportes)
Matt Vasgersian and Buck Martinez (MLB International)
Radio ESPN (English)
Unanimo Deportes (Spanish)
KBME (HOU)
WJFK-FM (WAS)
Radio announcers Dan Shulman, Chris Singleton and Buster Olney (ESPN)
Beto Ferreiro and Orlando Hernández (Unanimo Deportes)
Robert Ford and Steve Sparks (HOU)
Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler (WAS)
  2018 World Series 2020  

The 2019 World Series was the championship series of Major League Baseball's (MLB) 2019 season. The 115th edition of the World Series, it was a best-of-seven playoff played between the American League champion Houston Astros and the National League champion Washington Nationals. The series was played from October 22 to October 30. [2] The Nationals won the series, four games to three, to secure their first title in franchise history. [3] Washington pitcher Stephen Strasburg was named the World Series Most Valuable Player (MVP) after earning two wins in the series. [4]

Major League Baseball Professional baseball league

Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball organization and the oldest of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. A total of 30 teams play in the National League (NL) and American League (AL), with 15 teams in each league. The NL and AL were formed as separate legal entities in 1876 and 1901, respectively. After cooperating but remaining legally separate entities beginning in 1903, the leagues merged into a single organization led by the Commissioner of Baseball in 2000. The organization also oversees Minor League Baseball, which comprises 256 teams affiliated with the major league clubs. With the World Baseball Softball Confederation, MLB manages the international World Baseball Classic tournament.

The 2019 Major League Baseball season began on March 20, while the regular season ended on September 29. It was the 150th anniversary of professional baseball, dating back to the 1869 foundation of the Cincinnati Red Stockings. The postseason began on October 1. The World Series began October 22 and ended October 30 with the Washington Nationals defeating the Houston Astros in seven games to win their first World Series championship. The entire schedule was released on August 22, 2018.

The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB) in North America, contested since 1903 between the American League (AL) champion team and the National League (NL) champion team. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff, and the winning team is awarded the Commissioner's Trophy. As the series is played during the fall season in North America, it is sometimes referred to as the Fall Classic. Since 2017, it has been officially known as the World Series presented by YouTube TV for sponsorship reasons.

Contents

While the Astros had home-field advantage for the series, the road team won all seven games. [5] It was the first best-of-seven postseason series in any of the major North American sports leagues in which the visiting team won all seven games, surpassing the previous high of five. [6]

In team sports, the term home advantage – also called home ground, home field, home-field advantage, home court, home-court advantage, defender's advantage or home-ice advantage – describes the benefit that the home team is said to gain over the visiting team. This benefit has been attributed to psychological effects supporting fans have on the competitors or referees; to psychological or physiological advantages of playing near home in familiar situations; to the disadvantages away teams suffer from changing time zones or climates, or from the rigors of travel; and in some sports, to specific rules that favor the home team directly or indirectly. In baseball, in particular, the difference may also be the result of the home team having been assembled to take advantage of the idiosyncrasies of the home ballpark, such as the distances to the outfield walls; most other sports are played in standardized venues.

Major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada Informal group of sports leagues

The major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada are the highest professional competitions of team sports in those countries. The four leagues universally included in the definition are Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Football League (NFL), and the National Hockey League (NHL). Other prominent leagues include Major League Soccer (MLS) and the Canadian Football League (CFL).

For the third straight year, MLB sold presenting sponsorships to all its postseason series; as with the 2017 and 2018 World Series, this World Series was sponsored by YouTube TV and was officially known as the 2019 World Series presented by YouTube TV. [7]

Naming rights Financial transaction and form of advertising whereby a corporation or other entity purchases the right to name a facility or event, typically for a defined period of time

Naming rights are a financial transaction and form of advertising whereby a corporation or other entity purchases the right to name a facility or event, typically for a defined period of time. For properties like a multi-purpose arena, performing arts venue or an athletic field, the term ranges from three to 20 years. Longer terms are more common for higher profile venues such as a professional sports facility.

2017 World Series 113th edition of Major League Baseballs championship series

The 2017 World Series was the championship series of Major League Baseball's (MLB) 2017 season. The 113th edition of the World Series, it was a best-of-seven playoff played between the National League (NL) champion Los Angeles Dodgers and the American League (AL) champion Houston Astros. It was sponsored by the Internet television service YouTube TV and officially known as the 2017 World Series presented by YouTube TV. The series was played between October 24 and November 1.

2018 World Series 114th edition of Major League Baseballs championship series

The 2018 World Series was the championship series of Major League Baseball's 2018 season. The 114th edition of the World Series, it was a best-of-seven playoff played between the American League (AL) champion Boston Red Sox and the National League (NL) champion Los Angeles Dodgers. The Red Sox beat the Dodgers in five games to win their fourth World Series title in 15 years dating back to 2004, and their ninth in franchise history. This was the second World Series matchup between the two franchises, after the Red Sox defeated the Brooklyn Robins in five games in 1916. The series was sponsored by the Internet television service YouTube TV and officially known as the 2018 World Series presented by YouTube TV.

Background

Astros manager A. J. Hinch AJ Hinch dugout spring 2015.jpg
Astros manager A. J. Hinch

This was the first World Series appearance for the franchise that began its existence as the Montreal Expos in 1969, and moved to Washington in 2005 as the Nationals. The Nationals were also the last team from the 1969 expansion class (which also included the Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers - who began as the Seattle Pilots - and San Diego Padres) to earn a trip to the series. The World Series appearance also means that all National League teams have been to the World Series at least once. The only American League team not to reach the Fall Classic is the Seattle Mariners, who were part of the 1977 expansion. The Astros and Nationals had never met in the postseason before, despite Houston's stint in the National League from 1962-2012. The Astros and Nationals did not play an interleague game in 2019, and last faced each other during the 2017 regular season. The two teams share a Spring training site in West Palm Beach, Florida, and opened the 2019 Spring training schedule against each other. [8] This was the second World Series to feature two expansion teams, the first being in 2015 between the Kansas City Royals and New York Mets. [note 2] [9]

The Montreal Expos were a Canadian professional baseball team based in Montreal, Quebec. The Expos were the first Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise located outside the United States. They played in the National League (NL) East division from 1969 until 2004. Following the 2004 season, the franchise relocated to Washington, D.C., and became the Washington Nationals.

Kansas City Royals Major League Baseball franchise in Kansas City, Missouri, United States

The Kansas City Royals are an American professional baseball team based in Kansas City, Missouri. They compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member team of the American League (AL) Central division. The team was founded as an expansion franchise in 1969, and has participated in four World Series, winning in 1985 and 2015, and losing in 1980 and 2014.

Milwaukee Brewers Baseball team and Major League Baseball franchise in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States

The Milwaukee Brewers are an American professional baseball team based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) Central division. The team is named for the city's association with the brewing industry. Since 2001, the Brewers have played their home games at Miller Park, which has a seating capacity of 41,900.

Washington Nationals

The Nationals had an 82–80 (.506) win-loss record in 2018, and started the 2019 season with a 19–31 (.380) record. Second-year manager Dave Martinez began to receive public pressure to be fired by the Nationals. [10] The team engineered a turnaround and finished the season in second place in the National League East, four games behind the Atlanta Braves, ending the year with a 93–69 (.574) record. [11] The Nationals were one of two teams to qualify for the playoffs as a wild card team from the National League. [12] Martinez had missed three games in September due to a cardiac catheterization procedure to treat angina. [13]

Manager (baseball) Someone who manages a baseball team

In baseball, the field manager is the equivalent of a head coach who is responsible for overseeing and making final decisions on all aspects of on-field team strategy, lineup selection, training and instruction. Managers are typically assisted by a staff of assistant coaches whose responsibilities are specialized. Field managers are typically not involved in off-field personnel decisions or long-term club planning, responsibilities that are instead held by a team's general manager.

David Martinez is an American professional baseball coach and former outfielder who is the manager for the Washington Nationals of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously served as the bench coach for the Tampa Bay Rays and Chicago Cubs. He played in MLB for the Cubs, Montreal Expos, Cincinnati Reds, San Francisco Giants, Chicago White Sox, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays, and Atlanta Braves from 1986 to 2001. Martinez had a .276 career batting average, 1,599 hits, 91 home runs, 795 runs scored, and 580 runs batted in.

The National League East is one of Major League Baseball's six divisions. The Atlanta Braves have the most National League East titles (14). Most of Atlanta's NL East titles came during a record stretch of reaching MLB playoffs 14 consecutive times Along with the American League Central it is one of two divisions to have every member win at least one World Series title.

The Nationals defeated the Milwaukee Brewers at home in the National League Wild Card Game, coming behind from a 3–1 deficit in the eight inning to win 4–3. [14] The Nationals then defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers, who had won the previous two National League pennants, in the National League Division Series. [15] The Nationals were behind two games to one, and won their second and third elimination games of the postseason to take the best-of-five series. The postseason series win was the first in Washington Nationals history. [note 3] In the National League Championship Series, the Nationals swept the St. Louis Cardinals (who had defeated the Braves in the Division Series round) in four games to secure the first pennant in franchise history (including their time as the Montreal Expos from 1969 to 2004). It was the first World Series appearance for a Washington, D.C., team since 1933. The franchise known as the Washington Senators were a charter franchise of the American league who played in D.C. from 1901–1960 before moving to Minnesota to become the Twins. The Senators' name was passed to an expansion franchise that began play the year following year, 1961, and that team played in D.C. through 1971 before moving to Texas as the Rangers. There was no major league baseball team in Washington, D.C. between 1972–2004. [16]

2019 National League Wild Card Game

The 2019 National League Wild Card Game was a play-in game during Major League Baseball's (MLB) 2019 postseason contested between the National League's two wild card teams, the Washington Nationals and Milwaukee Brewers. Played on October 1, Washington won by a score of 4–3 to advance to the National League Division Series to face the Los Angeles Dodgers. The game was televised nationally by TBS.

Los Angeles Dodgers Baseball team and Major League Baseball franchise in Los Angeles, California, United States

The Los Angeles Dodgers are an American professional baseball team based in Los Angeles, California. They compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) West division. Established in 1883 in Brooklyn, New York, the team moved to Los Angeles before the 1958 season. They played for four seasons at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum before moving to their current home of Dodger Stadium in 1962.

2019 National League Division Series

The 2019 National League Division Series were two best-of-five-games series in Major League Baseball (MLB) to determine the participating teams of the 2019 National League Championship Series. The three divisional winners, seeded first through third, and a fourth team—determined by the NL Wild Card Game—played in two series. These matchups were:

Houston Astros

The Astros won the 2017 World Series, the franchises' first World Series championship. [17] They lost in the 2018 American League Championship Series to the Boston Red Sox. [18] The Astros finished the 2019 regular season with a 107–55 (.660) win-loss record, which was the best in baseball. They won the American League West. [19]

The Astros played the Tampa Bay Rays, who won the American League Wild Card Game, in the American League Division Series. Houston defeated the Rays in five games. [20] In the American League Championship Series, the Astros defeated the New York Yankees in six games. [21] This was Houston's third World Series appearance and second in three years. [22]

Summary

Washington won the series, 4–3.

GameDateScoreLocationTimeAttendance 
1October 22Washington Nationals – 5, Houston Astros – 4 Minute Maid Park 3:4343,339 [23]  
2October 23Washington Nationals – 12, Houston Astros – 3Minute Maid Park4:0143,357 [24]  
3October 25Houston Astros – 4, Washington Nationals – 1 Nationals Park 4:0343,867 [25]  
4October 26Houston Astros – 8, Washington Nationals – 1Nationals Park3:4843,889 [26]  
5October 27Houston Astros – 7, Washington Nationals – 1Nationals Park3:1943,910 [27]  
6October 29Washington Nationals – 7, Houston Astros – 2Minute Maid Park3:3743,384 [28]  
7October 30Washington Nationals – 6, Houston Astros – 2Minute Maid Park3:4243,326 [29]

Game summaries

Game 1

Juan Soto was 3-for-4 with three RBIs in Game 1. Juan Soto (40536136683) (cropped).jpg
Juan Soto was 3-for-4 with three RBIs in Game 1.
October 22, 2019 7:08 pm (CDT) at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas 73 °F (23 °C), roof closed
Team123456789 R H E
Washington010130000590
Houston2000001104100
WP: Max Scherzer (1–0)   LP: Gerrit Cole (0–1)   Sv: Sean Doolittle (1)
Home runs:
WSH: Ryan Zimmerman (1), Juan Soto (1)
HOU: George Springer (1)
Attendance: 43,339
Boxscore

The Nationals wore their alternate road blue jerseys for Game 1. [31] Before the national anthem, a moment of silence took place in honor of umpire Eric Cooper, [32] who had died on October 20. Former Astro Brian McCann threw out the ceremonial first pitch to former teammate Evan Gattis. [32] Max Scherzer started for the Nationals, while Gerrit Cole started for the Astros. In the bottom of the first, Yuli Gurriel hit a two-run double with two outs, giving the Astros a 2–0 lead. In the top of the second, Ryan Zimmerman hit a solo home run to cut the Astros' lead to 2–1. Juan Soto led off the top of the fourth inning with a home run to tie the game, 2–2. Soto became the fourth-youngest player to hit a home run in a World Series; Andruw Jones in 1996 was the youngest to date. [33] Adam Eaton drove in a run in the top of the fifth, followed two batters later by a Soto two-run double, giving the Nationals a 5–2 lead. [34]

Scherzer exited after pitching five innings, having allowed two runs on five hits while striking out seven batters. Cole went seven innings, allowing five runs on eight hits while striking out six. After Nationals pitcher Patrick Corbin pitched a scoreless sixth, George Springer led off the bottom of the seventh with the 14th postseason home run of his career, off Nats reliever Tanner Rainey. [35] He also broke a World Series record held by Reggie Jackson and Lou Gehrig, with a home run in five consecutive World Series games, [36] dating back to Game 4 of the 2017 World Series. The Astros loaded the bases later in the inning with two walks off of Rainey and an infield single off of Daniel Hudson, but Hudson struck out Yordan Álvarez to prevent any more scoring. In the bottom of the eighth, pinch-hitter Kyle Tucker singled, advanced to second on a fly ball by Aledmys Díaz, and Springer drove in another run with a double, pulling the Astros to within one, 5–4. Sean Doolittle, the Nationals' fifth pitcher of the game, got the final out of the eighth inning and retired the side in order in the bottom of the ninth, concluding matters when Carlos Correa lined out to Víctor Robles to preserve the win. Doolittle earned his second save of the postseason and the underdogs took the series lead, marking the first time in franchise history that the Nationals won a World Series game. [30]

Game 2

Stephen Strasburg earned the win in Game 2. Stephen Strasburg on July 9, 2014.jpg
Stephen Strasburg earned the win in Game 2.
October 23, 2019 7:07 pm (CDT) at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas 73 °F (23 °C), roof closed
Team123456789 R H E
Washington20000063112142
Houston200000001391
WP: Stephen Strasburg (1–0)   LP: Justin Verlander (0–1)
Home runs:
WSH: Kurt Suzuki (1), Adam Eaton (1), Michael A. Taylor (1)
HOU: Alex Bregman (1), Martín Maldonado (1)
Attendance: 43,357
Boxscore

Gymnast and Houston native Simone Biles threw out the ceremonial first pitch of Game 2. [38] Starting pitchers were Stephen Strasburg for the Nationals, who wore their alternate road blue jerseys, and Justin Verlander for the Astros, who wore home white. After a walk and a single to start the game, Anthony Rendon drove in two runs with a double. Alex Bregman tied the game with a two-run home run in the bottom of the first. In the top of the second inning, Verlander recorded the 200th postseason strikeout of his career setting a new major league record, passing John Smoltz. [39]

Leading off the top of the seventh, Kurt Suzuki hit a home run to put the Nationals ahead, 3–2. Verlander exited one batter later; he was charged with four runs on seven hits while striking out six batters, and suffered the loss. Washington scored five more runs in the seventh off of Ryan Pressly, extending their lead to 8–2. With a six-run lead, Strasburg was removed before the bottom of the seventh, having held the Astros to two runs on seven hits while striking out seven. In the eighth inning, a two-run home run by Adam Eaton plus an RBI by Asdrúbal Cabrera extended the Nationals' lead to nine runs. A ninth-inning home run by Michael A. Taylor off of Chris Devenski pushed the lead to 12–2. Martín Maldonado hit a home run in the bottom of the ninth off of Nationals reliever Javy Guerra, but the Nationals completed their eighth consecutive playoff win. [37]

Game 3

Michael Brantley was 2-for-4 with two RBIs in Game 3. MBrantley.jpg
Michael Brantley was 2-for-4 with two RBIs in Game 3.
October 25, 2019 8:07 pm (EDT) at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. 64 °F (18 °C), partly cloudy
Team123456789 R H E
Houston0110110004110
Washington000100000192
WP: Josh James (1–0)   LP: Aníbal Sánchez (0–1)   Sv: Roberto Osuna (1)
Home runs:
HOU: Robinson Chirinos (1)
WSH: None
Attendance: 43,867
Boxscore

This was the first World Series game played in Washington, D.C., since October 7, 1933, which was the clinching Game 5 of the New York Giants' win over the Washington Senators. [41] Chad Cordero of the 2005 Nationals threw out the ceremonial first pitch to former teammate Brian Schneider; former astronaut Buzz Aldrin also threw a ceremonial pitch. [42] Aníbal Sánchez started for the Nationals, who wore their home alternate blue jerseys, while Zack Greinke started for the Astros, who wore their road grey uniforms. In the second inning, Josh Reddick drove in Carlos Correa as Houston scored the game's first run. In the third inning, José Altuve doubled and advanced to third on an error, then scored on an infield single by Michael Brantley, giving the Astros a 2–0 lead. The Nationals loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the third, but were unable to score. In the bottom of the fourth, Ryan Zimmerman walked then was driven in by a Víctor Robles triple, cutting the Astros' lead to 2–1. [43]

Houston restored their two-run lead in the top of the fifth, as Altuve doubled and was then driven in by Brantley. Greinke left with two outs in the bottom of the fifth, having allowed one run on seven hits while striking out six batters. The Astros extended their lead to 4–1 in the top of the sixth, as Robinson Chirinos hit a home run off of the left field foul pole netting. Sánchez lasted until one out in the top of the sixth, having allowed four runs on 10 hits while striking out four. With no additional scoring though the middle of the ninth, the Astros brought in closer Roberto Osuna to pitch the bottom of the ninth. Osuna allowed a one-out single to Adam Eaton, but otherwise set down the Nationals; he struck out Juan Soto looking to end the National's eight-game playoff winning streak. Osuna earned his second save this postseason, as Houston pulled within a game of Washington, 2–1. This became the first World Series to begin with three games won by the road team since 1996, when the first five games were won by the road team. [44]

Game 4

Alex Bregman had five RBIs in Game 4, four on a grand slam. Alex Bregman on August 21, 2016.jpg
Alex Bregman had five RBIs in Game 4, four on a grand slam.
October 26, 2019 8:07 pm (EDT) at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. 63 °F (17 °C), overcast
Team123456789 R H E
Houston2002004008131
Washington000001000140
WP: José Urquidy (1–0)   LP: Patrick Corbin (0–1)
Home runs:
HOU: Robinson Chirinos (2), Alex Bregman (2)
WSH: None
Attendance: 43,889
Boxscore

The ceremonial first pitch was thrown out by a Nationals Youth Baseball Academy scholar-athlete. [46] [47] Patrick Corbin started for the Nationals and José Urquidy started for the Astros. [48] Washington again wore their blue alternate home jerseys, [49] with Houston again wearing their road grey uniforms. [50] The Astros scored early, recording two runs in the first inning. [51] Robinson Chirinos hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning, extending Houston's lead to 4–0. [51] Urquidy exited after five innings, having held the Nationals scoreless, retiring nine straight batters before being pulled out. [51]

Washington scored a run in the bottom of the sixth, coming on a Juan Soto ground-out with the bases loaded and one out. Corbin pitched six innings, allowing four runs on seven hits while striking out five. A grand slam by Alex Bregman in the seventh inning extended Houston's lead to 8–1. [52] It was the 20th ever World Series grand slam and first since Addison Russell hit one in Game 6 of the 2016 World Series. [53] With no further scoring, the Astros evened the series, 2–2, ensuring a sixth game in Houston. This was the fifth time a World Series started with the road team's winning the first four games, the most recent occurrence having been 1996. [54]

Game 5

The Astros batting in the top of the 2nd inning of Game 5 President Trump at the World Series Game (48974322178).jpg
The Astros batting in the top of the 2nd inning of Game 5
President Donald J. Trump waves to the crowd President Trump at the World Series Game (48975694762).jpg
President Donald J. Trump waves to the crowd
October 27, 2019 8:07 pm (EDT) at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. 72 °F (22 °C), clear
Team123456789 R H E
Houston0202000127100
Washington000000100140
WP: Gerrit Cole (1–1)   LP: Joe Ross (0–1)
Home runs:
HOU: Yordan Álvarez (1), Carlos Correa (1), George Springer (2)
WSH: Juan Soto (2)
Attendance: 43,910
Boxscore

The ceremonial first pitch was thrown out by chef José Andrés. [46] [55] The starting pitchers were Gerrit Cole for Houston and Joe Ross for Washington. Max Scherzer was scheduled to start for Washington, but was scratched about three hours before the game due to neck spasms. [56] The Nationals once again wore their blue alternate jerseys, [57] while the Astros wore their road grey uniforms. [58]

A two-run home run by Yordan Álvarez in the top of the second inning gave the Astros an early lead. In the top of the fourth, Carlos Correa hit another two-run home run, extending Houston's lead to 4–0. Ross pitched for five innings, allowing four runs on five hits while striking out one batter. Juan Soto narrowed the lead to 4–1 with a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh. Yuli Gurriel drove in a run in the top of the eighth to restore the four-run lead. Cole left after seven innings, having held the Nationals to one run on three hits while striking out nine. George Springer's two-run home run in the top of the ninth stretched Houston's lead to 7–1. With Ryan Pressly allowing no baserunners in the bottom of the ninth, the Astros moved to within a victory of their second title in three years. This became the third World Series—along with 1906 and 1996—to have the road team win the first five games. [59]

Home plate umpire Lance Barksdale's strike zone during the game drew attention, [60] with some sports journalists, including Jeff Passan, increasing their appeals to MLB for a computerized strike zone. [61] [62] Two women in the crowd flashed their bare chests during the game—briefly visible on television—in an attempt to raise awareness for their website, claiming proceeds from the site "will be going to women with breast cancer". [63] Along with a third woman, they were removed from the game and were banned from all MLB stadiums "indefinitely". [63] U.S. President Donald Trump was booed and "chants of 'Lock him up!' broke out in some sections" when he and wife Melania were introduced before the game. [64] This led to some discussion in the media of the civility required of the event and the larger political discourse taking place. [65]

Game 6

Anthony Rendon had five RBIs in Game 6. Anthony Rendon (14430676940).jpg
Anthony Rendon had five RBIs in Game 6.
October 29, 2019 7:07 pm (CDT) at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas 73 °F (23 °C), roof closed
Team123456789 R H E
Washington100020202790
Houston200000000260
WP: Stephen Strasburg (2–0)   LP: Justin Verlander (0–2)
Home runs:
WSH: Adam Eaton (2), Juan Soto (3), Anthony Rendon (1)
HOU: Alex Bregman (3)
Attendance: 43,384
Boxscore

The ceremonial first pitch was thrown by Hakeem Olajuwon to Clyde Drexler, both of whom played college basketball for the Houston Cougars and later won the 1995 NBA Finals with the Houston Rockets. [67] Starting pitchers were Justin Verlander for Houston and Stephen Strasburg for Washington, the same as in Game 2. [68]

Anthony Rendon drove in a run in the top of the first, giving the Nationals an early 1–0 lead. A sacrifice fly by José Altuve and a solo home run by Alex Bregman in the bottom of the first gave Houston a 2–1 lead. [69] Bregman carried his bat to first base after homering, which some media considered disrespectful. [70] Fifth-inning solo home runs by Adam Eaton and Juan Soto gave the Nationals a 3–2 lead. Soto also carried his bat to first base after homering, mimicking Bregman. [70] Post-game, both managers would voice displeasure with the bat-carrying, and Bregman apologized and said he was at fault. [71] [72]

Verlander exited after five innings, having allowed three runs on five hits while striking out three batters. [73] In the top of the seventh inning, Trea Turner was controversially called out for interference on a play at first base, [74] which Washington manager Dave Martinez furiously took issue with, leading to his ejection. [75] A two-out, two-run home run by Rendon off Will Harris—who had not allowed a single earned run in the postseason—later that inning increased Washington's lead to 5–2. [69] Rendon drove in two more runs in the top of the ninth with a double off Chris Devenski, extending the Nationals' lead to 7–2. Strasburg left with one out in the bottom of the ninth, having held the Astros to two runs on five hits while striking out seven. [76] Sean Doolittle relieved Strasburg, and allowed a two-out double to Carlos Correa, but nothing further, and the Nationals evened the series to force a deciding seventh game. [77] This was the first instance in MLB, NBA, or NHL history where the road team won the first six games of a best-of-seven series. [6]

Interference call and Martinez ejection

Trea Turner (5314023) (cropped).jpg
Sam Holbrook 2011.jpg
Trea Turner (left) and umpire Sam Holbrook

In the top of the seventh inning, the Nationals had a 3–2 lead with a runner, Yan Gomes, on first base with no outs when batter Trea Turner hit a swinging bunt to the third base side of the pitcher's mound. [78] Astros pitcher Brad Peacock fielded the ball and threw it to first base; the ball was not caught by first baseman Yuli Gurriel and rolled into foul territory beyond the base, apparently giving the Nationals runners on second and third with no outs. [78] However, Turner was called out by home plate umpire Sam Holbrook for interference, negating the play and requiring Gomes to return to first base. [78] While initial reports and television commentary indicated the call was for running outside the 45-foot (14 m) runner's lane, [79] MLB's chief baseball officer, Joe Torre, clarified after the game that Turner had interfered with Gurriel's attempt to catch the ball, [80] [81] stating that Turner "did run to the fair side of the 45-foot line, but really the violation was when he kept Gurriel from being able to catch the ball at first base." [78] [82] The call led to a delay of nearly 4 12 minutes while umpires confirmed their interpretation of the rules (the decision itself was a judgment call not reviewable via MLB instant replay). [78] The call was argued by Nationals manager Dave Martinez when it was first made and again, more intensely, during the seventh-inning stretch, resulting in his ejection by Holbrook. [83] It was the first ejection in a World Series since Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox in 1996. [84]

Game 7

Patrick Corbin (shown here with the Diamondbacks) was the winning pitcher in Game 7. Patrick Corbin on August 9, 2013.jpg
Patrick Corbin (shown here with the Diamondbacks) was the winning pitcher in Game 7.
October 30, 2019 7:07 pm (CDT) at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas 73 °F (23 °C), roof closed
Team123456789 R H E
Washington000000312690
Houston010010000291
WP: Patrick Corbin (1–1)   LP: Will Harris (0–1)
Home runs:
WSH: Anthony Rendon (2), Howie Kendrick (1)
HOU: Yuli Gurriel (1)
Attendance: 43,326
Boxscore

This was the 40th time a World Series reached its deciding Game 7. [85] [note 4] The starting pitchers were Washington's Max Scherzer, who won Game 1, and Houston's Zack Greinke, who received a no decision in Game 3, [86] making this the first World Series Game 7 started by two previous Cy Young Award winners. [87] Entering the deciding seventh game, road teams had a 16–3 record in games of the 2019 championship series for the three major North American professional sports leagues using the best-of-seven format. [88] [note 5] The Astros wore their alternate orange home jerseys while the Nationals wore their alternate blue road jerseys. Ceremonial first pitches were thrown by former Astros Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio. [89]

A solo home run by Yuli Gurriel in the bottom of the second inning gave the Astros an early 1–0 lead. Carlos Correa hit a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the fifth inning to extend the lead to 2–0. Scherzer pitched five innings, allowing two runs on seven hits while striking out three batters. Greinke had given up only one hit (a single) before Anthony Rendon's solo home run in the top of the seventh cut the Astros' lead to 2–1. Greinke walked Soto after Rendon's homer and was then replaced by Will Harris. Harris gave up a two-run home run to Howie Kendrick into the right field foul pole netting, giving the Nationals a 3–2 lead, which they never relinquished. Greinke was charged with two runs on two hits while striking out three in 6 13 innings.. [90] Roberto Osuna pitched the eighth inning for Houston, when Juan Soto drove in Adam Eaton with two outs to give Washington a two-run lead. [91] [92] The Nationals extended their lead to 6–2 in the ninth inning, with two runs scoring on a one-out single by Eaton with the bases loaded. With Patrick Corbin having pitched three scoreless innings in relief for Washington, Daniel Hudson came in to pitch the bottom of the ninth and retired the side in order, striking out Michael Brantley swinging for the final out of the season, to give the Nationals franchise their first World Series title in 51 seasons as the Washington Nationals and, previously, the Montreal Expos, and the city's first since the Senators won in 1924. [90]

The Nationals' win marked the sixth straight year that the visiting team won the deciding game of the Series, as well as the fourth straight win on the road in a World Series Game 7. [93] For the first time in major North American sports history, the visiting team won all seven games of a best-of-seven postseason series. [94] [95] During postgame ceremonies, Washington's Stephen Strasburg was presented with the World Series Most Valuable Player Award, the first time a former No. 1 overall draft pick earned the award. [96] [97]

Composite line score

2019 World Series (4–3): Washington Nationals (NL) beat Houston Astros (AL).

Team123456789 R H E
Washington Nationals310251124533584
Houston Astros84141252330683
Home runs:
WSH: Juan Soto (3), Adam Eaton (2), Anthony Rendon (2), Howie Kendrick (1), Kurt Suzuki (1), Michael A. Taylor (1), Ryan Zimmerman (1)
HOU: Alex Bregman (3), Robinson Chirinos (2), George Springer (2), Yordan Álvarez (1), Carlos Correa (1), Yuli Gurriel (1), Martín Maldonado (1)
Total attendance: 305,072  Average attendance: 43,582

Broadcasting

Television

The World Series was televised by Fox for the 20th straight year, [98] with Joe Buck calling the games as play-by-play announcer along with John Smoltz as color commentator and Ken Rosenthal and Tom Verducci as field reporters. Kevin Burkhardt hosted the network's pregame shows, joined by analysts Frank Thomas, Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz. Fox Deportes aired the series in Spanish, with Rolando Nichols calling the play-by-play, Edgar Gonzalez as color commentator, and Carlos Álvarez as field reporter. [99]

MLB International fed the series to broadcasters outside the United States, with Matt Vasgersian providing play-by-play and Buck Martinez as color commentator. [100]

Ratings

Game Ratings
(households)
Share
(households)
U.S. audience
(in millions)
Ref
17.31512.194 [101]
27.11511.925 [102]
37.11512.220 [103]
45.91310.219 [104]
56.51211.390 [105]
69.61916.425 [106]
713.12523.013 [107]

Notes: [note 6] Games 1 through 4 all ranked as the number one most-watched programs of their respective days. [108] Game 1 had the second-lowest audience for any Game 1 to date, with only the 2014 World Series having a smaller audience for the opener. [109] Game 2 had the lowest audience for any Game 2 to date, a distinction previously held by the 2012 World Series. [110] Game 4 was the lowest rated World Series game ever, and had the second-smallest audience ever, with only Game 3 of the 2008 World Series having a smaller audience. [111] Game 7 was the least-watched Game 7 ever, falling below the seventh game of 2014. [112] Overall, this World Series had the fourth-lowest average number of viewers, with only 2014, 2012, and 2008 being lower. [113] Ratings spiked considerably for Game 7, and there were strong ratings in Houston (42.7/63) and Washington, D.C. (31.8/53), making it the most-viewed MLB game in Washington since 1998. [114]

Radio

ESPN Radio broadcast the World Series for the 22nd straight year, [115] with coverage presented by AutoZone. Dan Shulman served as play-by-play announcer, with Chris Singleton as color commentator and Buster Olney as field reporter. Marc Kestecher and Kevin Winter hosted the pregame shows with reporter Tim Kurkjian. [116] New Spanish-language radio network Unanimo Deportes, flagshipped at WMYM Miami, broadcast its first World Series with Beto Ferreiro and Orlando Hernández announcing. [117]

Locally, both teams' flagship radio stations broadcast the series with their regular announcers. In Houston, KBME aired the series with Robert Ford and Steve Sparks announcing. In Washington, WJFK-FM aired the series with Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler calling the games. Per MLB rules, the teams' other radio affiliates may carry the series but must air the ESPN Radio broadcast. [100]

See also

Notes

  1. 1 2 During the postseason, there are seven umpires to a crew. One umpire is designated as the replay official and is assigned to MLB's New York office with replay officials for the first two games of the series. At the first travel day, the replay official umpire is assigned to the field for the remainder of the series while another umpire is designated the replay official. Wolf was the replay official for Games 1 and 2, while Porter was the replay official for the remaining games.
  2. The Astros entered the NL as the Houston Colt .45s in 1962, acquiring their current name in 1965 and moving to the AL in 2013; the Nationals entered the NL as the Montreal Expos in 1969, moving to Washington and acquiring their current name in 2005.
  3. The franchise, then playing as the Montreal Expos, had one postseason series victory in the strike-shortened 1981 baseball season. That year, the postseason included an extra round, with the first half winner of each of two divisions in each league playing the second half division winner. Montreal won the second half Eastern Division title in the National League and beat the Philadelphia Phillies three games to two to advance to the National League Championship series where they bowed to the Los Angeles Dodgers three games to two.
  4. Including the 1912 World Series, which had a deciding Game 8 because Game 2 ended in a tie.
  5. 2019 Stanley Cup Finals road teams 5–2, 2019 NBA Finals road teams 5–1, 2019 World Series road teams 6–0.
  6. Per World Series television ratings, 1984–2019.

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Further reading