By Harry Sutton ’20
The Washington Nationals secured their first World Series championship in their franchise’s history, capturing the 2019 title in an enthralling seven-game series against the Houston Astros. Many times in the history of the World Series, the competition has ended after only four or five games, but when the series goes to seven games, it is always a fascinating contest.
31-year-old pitcher Stephen Strasburg was honored with the World Series MVP award and Nats fans’ hearts will be warmed by this result. Strasburg has spent the entirety of his career playing for Washington. He is a three-time All Star who led the league in strikeouts in 2014 and wins in 2019, as well as being named the 2012 Silver Slugger. Strasburg is a fan-favorite and will be highly credited for pitching in the Nationals’ wins in Game 2 and Game 6, where they won 12-3 and 7-2, respectively.
Oddly, both teams struggled when playing at home;for the first time in World Series history, the traveling team won every game. The Nationals got off to a wonderful start, barely edging out the Astros by one run in Game 1. Riding on the momentum from a great start to the World Series, the Nats walloped the Astros in Game 2. Thanks to a 6-run seventh inning, the Nationals won 12-3 in Game 2 at Houston’s Minute Maid Park.
After a monumental success in Texas, the Nationals were fully expected to secure the World Series title when the teams clashed in the nation’s capital, but Washington lost Game 3, 4, and 5, all at Nationals Park. This shifted the power back into the hands of the Houston Astros, who worked hard to hold the Nationals to no more than one run per game in each of the three games. The Astros only needed to win one of the final two games in the series, both of which would take place at home in the Lone Star State, but the Astro fans would not take anything for granted, having lost both of their previous home games.
With two games in front of their home crowd, the Houston Astros were on the brink of their second World Series title in three years, but the home team trauma continued, as they fell in both Game 6 and Game 7 to the Nationals, having been contained to only 2 runs in each of the games. On October 30, 2019 the Washington Nationals defeated the Houston Astros with a score of 6-2, clinching their franchise’s first World Series Championship.
Game 7 was by far the most tense of the series, and the Astros were hopeful of their chances, having a two run lead after six innings; however, in the final third of the contest the Nationals flipped a switch, scoring three times in the seventh inning, once in the eighth, and another two in the ninth.
As a huge amount of the students at The Gunnery are from the Northeast, the campus is swarmed with feuding fans of the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees, but many students were passionately rooting for one of the two teams who clashed in the World Series this year.
One of those fans was Noah Levy ‘21, a Washington D.C. native who has been to countless Nats games and whose parents were in the crowd for one of the games in the capital. Noah was elated to see the Nationals win their franchise’s first title, and he never would have predicted the result 50 games into the season. Just under a third of the way through the season, the Nationals were 19-31 and were performing under par, but the team turned it around for the rest of the season and then defeated two different teams in the playoffs who had 105+ wins each.