So goes having home-field advantage?
In a series which resulted in the road team winning every single game, the Washington Nationals won the winner-take-all Game 7 on Wednesday by defeating the Houston Astros 6-2. The Nationals won the series by a 4-3 margin.
After Washington took the first two games played in Houston, Houston responded by winning Games 3, 4 and 5 in Washington, D.C. Facing elimination, the Nationals won Games 6 and 7 in Houston.
The win marked the first ever World Series title in franchise history, including when the franchise was located in Montreal. The last time a Washington-based team won a World Series was 1924.
After being sidelined with an injury for Sunday’s Game 5, Nationals’ All-Star starting pitcher Max Scherzer kept his club in Game 7 with a 5-inning, two-run effort. Then, Patrick Corbin, spurning his usual role as a starter, came out of the bullpen to hold the Astros scoreless for 3 innings.
After Houston held a 2-0 lead through 6 innings, Washington responded with three runs in the 7th inning, including a Howie Kendrick home run, which gave the Nationals a 3-2 lead.
In the 8th, Juan Soto singled to deliver a RBI which scored Adam Eaton.
Eaton returned the favor in the 9th with a two-RBI single to center field to lift Washington to a more comfortable 6-2 lead.
Though not pitching in Wednesday’s Game 7, pitcher Stephen Strasburg earned the win in two of Washington’s four World Series victories, including Tuesday’s pivotal Game 6. Strasburg was named the series' MVP.
"I don't know. It's almost like we've done it so many times that we have to get punched in the face to kind of wake up. I think it's just the MO. We don't quit. We never quit throughout the season despite kind of everybody saying that we were done," Straburg said.
Coming into the season, despite being favored by some to win the National League East, the Nationals faced the adversity of losing 2015 MVP Bryce Harper to rival Philadelphia.
Instead of winning the East, the Nationals entered the MLB Playoffs via a Wild Card. Washington gutted out a 4-3 win over Milwaukee in the Wild Card game.
Then facing elimination twice in the Division Series, the Nationals won Game 4 6-1 before winning Game 5 in extra innings to win that series. Washington then went on to easily sweep the St. Louis Cardinals.
"This year, I can honestly say nothing would have surprised me," Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. "I mean, from where we started, traveling "boos," you name it, we've been through a lot.
"But like I said before, these guys, we stuck together. They believed in each other. I believed in them. And I told them before the game, I said, Hey, I want you guys to just treat this as just another game, it's Game 184, which is hard to do. I said, But we made it this far, just play one more game. One more 1-0, and they did that tonight."