Strasburg, Nats top Astros 7-2, force World Series Game 7

Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg reacts after Houston Astros' Michael Brantley grounded out to end the fifth inning of Game 6 of the baseball World Series Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg reacts after Houston Astros’ Michael Brantley grounded out to end the fifth inning of Game 6 of the baseball World Series Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, in Houston. (AP/Matt Slocum)
Washington Nationals’ Juan Soto celebrates his home run against the Houston Astros during the fifth inning of Game 6 of the baseball World Series Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, in Houston. (AP/Eric Gay)
Washington Nationals' Juan Soto flips his bat as he is congratulated by first base coach Tim Bogar after hitting a home run during the sixth inning of Game 6 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Washington Nationals’ Juan Soto flips his bat as he is congratulated by first base coach Tim Bogar after hitting a home run during the sixth inning of Game 6 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, in Houston. (AP/David J. Phillip)
Washington Nationals’ Juan Soto, right, celebrates after his home run with Adam Eaton during the fifth inning of Game 6 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, in Houston. (AP/Sue Ogrocki)
A fan watches during the ninth inning of Game 6 of the baseball World Series between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, in Houston. (AP/David J. Phillip)
Washington Nationals manager Dave Martinez has to be restrained after being ejected for arguing an interference call during the seventh inning of Game 6 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, in Houston. (AP/Matt Slocum)
Washington Nationals' Juan Soto is congratulated by Adam Eaton after hitting a home run during the fifth inning of Game 6 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Washington Nationals’ Juan Soto is congratulated by Adam Eaton after hitting a home run during the fifth inning of Game 6 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, in Houston. (AP/Matt Slocum)
Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg heads to the dugout after the third inning of Game 6 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg heads to the dugout after the third inning of Game 6 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, in Houston. (AP/Matt Slocum)
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Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg reacts after Houston Astros' Michael Brantley grounded out to end the fifth inning of Game 6 of the baseball World Series Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Washington Nationals' Juan Soto flips his bat as he is congratulated by first base coach Tim Bogar after hitting a home run during the sixth inning of Game 6 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Washington Nationals' Juan Soto is congratulated by Adam Eaton after hitting a home run during the fifth inning of Game 6 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg heads to the dugout after the third inning of Game 6 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

HOUSTON (AP) — It’s been an unconventional road to Game 7 of the World Series for Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals.

Seizing the October spotlight he missed out on as a youngster, Strasburg pitched another postseason gem into the ninth inning Tuesday night as the Nationals beat the Houston Astros 7-2 to tie this Fall Classic at 3-3.

Juan Soto ran all the way to first base with his bat following a go-ahead homer, the same way Houston slugger Alex Bregman did earlier.

Yep, these wild-card Nationals have matched the heavily favored Astros swing for swing, hit for hit — even home run celebration for home run celebration.

Now, it’s onto a winner-take-all Game 7 on Wednesday night to decide the only Series in which the visiting team won the first six.



“It’s weird, really. You can’t explain it,” Washington manager Dave Martinez said.

Adam Eaton and Soto hit solo homers off Justin Verlander in the fifth to help the Nationals overcome a 2-1 deficit. Anthony Rendon also went deep and drove in five runs.

“Maybe they enjoy our park and maybe we enjoy their park,” said Rendon, who attended high school 4½ miles from Minute Maid Park. “We’re not going to ask questions.”

Max Scherzer, revitalized by an injection of painkiller, is primed to return from an irritated nerve in his neck to start Game 7 for Washington in a Series that’s been all road, sweet, road.

Scratched from his scheduled Game 5 start only hours before the first pitch, Scherzer was warming up in the seventh inning Tuesday before Rendon’s homer, then sat down as Martinez became the first manager tossed from a Series game since Atlanta’s Bobby Cox in 1996.

“The cortisone shot worked. That relieved the pressure on the nerve, and then keep applying heat,” Scherzer said. “Our chiropractor, he does amazing work. He was able to go in there and make adjustments. We did two treatments of it and really freed up the neck.”

Zack Greinke will start for the Astros, who led the majors with 107 wins and are seeking their second title in three seasons.

“I wish it was in a National League park,” Greinke joked, cracking a smile about his affinity for hitting.

Fired up after a disputed call at first base went against them in the seventh, the Nationals padded their lead moments later when Rendon hit a two-run homer off Will Harris. Martinez, still enraged at umpires, was ejected during the seventh-inning stretch, screaming as a pair of his coaches held him back while the crowd sang along to “Deep in the Heart of Texas.”

Rendon added a two-run double off Chris Devenski in the ninth to just about seal it after Strasburg gutted through without his best fastball to throw five-hit ball for 8 1/3 innings. Washington pitching coach Paul Menhart told Strasburg after the first that he was tipping pitches. Strasburg allowed only three more hits.

“Started shaking my glove, so they didn’t know what I was throwing,” Strasburg said. “It’s something that has burned me in the past, and it burned me there in the first.”

Now the Nationals will attempt their ultimate comeback in a year when they were written off time after time, hoping for the first title in the 51-season history of a franchise that started as the Montreal Expos and the first for Washington since the Senators in 1924.

Visiting teams have won three straight Game 7s in the Series since the Cardinals defeated Texas at home in 2011.

“I don’t think there’s a person in the building that would have assumed that all road teams were going to win,” Houston manager AJ Hinch said. “We’ve just got to make sure that last one is not the same.”

Washington rebounded from a 19-31 start — the Nats were given just a 1.6% chance to win the Series on May 23 — to finish 93-69. They rallied from a 3-1 eighth-inning deficit against Milwaukee in the NL wild-card game, a two-games-to-one deficit vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Division Series and a 2-1, fifth-inning deficit in Game 6 vs. the Astros.

Outscored 19-3 at Nationals Park while going 1 for 21 with runners in scoring position, the Nationals got the strong outing they needed from Strasburg, who allowed his only runs in the first inning, struck out seven and walked two while throwing 104 pitches.

“It was a mental grind out there, especially after the first,” Strasburg said. “Just got to keep fighting.”

Strasburg was memorably shut down by the Nationals in September 2012 to protect his arm in his first full season following Tommy John surgery, and Washington was beaten by St. Louis in the Division Series.

He improved to 5-0 with a 1.98 ERA in six postseason outings this October — five starts and one relief appearance — despite failing to get a swing and miss in the first two innings for the first time this year. Eight of his nine swings and misses overall came on breaking balls, and Strasburg escaped a two-on, two-out jam in the fourth by striking out Carlos Correa.

After George Springer’s one-out double put runners at second and third in the fifth, José Altuve struck out on a curve in the dirt and Michael Brantley hit a hard grounder to second.

“He has an uncanny ability to slow the game down when he’s under any duress,” Hinch said about Strasburg.

Sean Doolittle got the final two outs as the Nationals bullpen headed into Game 7 relatively rested.

Verlander dropped to 0-6 with a 5.68 ERA in seven Series starts, a blemish on his otherwise sterling career.

“I didn’t really have great feel for the off-speed stuff,” he said. “The last inning just a poorly executed slider and then really just kind of a fastball up and in.”

Martinez’s ejection came after Trea Turner was called out for interference when he ran on the fair side of the foul line and knocked the mitt off first baseman Yuli Gurriel in the seventh following his slow roller. Washington was leading 3-2 at the time and would have had runners on second and third with no outs.

Martinez tried to protest the game. Joe Torre, MLB’s chief baseball officer, said the long delay that followed — just over 10 minutes — was caused by umpires at Minute Maid Park consulting with the replay room in New York to confirm the decision on the field was not subject to a protest.

Rendon’s RBI single through a shifted infield put the Nationals ahead in the first, but Houston needed just four pitches to tie the score. Springer lined a double off the left-field scoreboard, at 112 mph off the bat the hardest-hit ball of the Series, and advanced on a wild pitch before scoring on Altuve’s sacrifice fly.

Bregman’s third homer of the Series put the Astros ahead on Strasburg’s 12th pitch. He carried his bat out of the batter’s box and tried to hand it to first base coach Don Kelly, only for the bat to fall as Kelly stuck out his hand for a shake.

Strasburg called Bregman’s antics “tired.”

“I just let my emotions get the best of me and it’s not how I was raised to play the game,” Bregman said. “I’m sorry for doing that.”

Eaton tied the score in the fifth when Verlander hung a slider. Soto, who turned 21 on Friday, followed with his third home run of the Series.

Soto, too, flipped the bat at his first base coach, Tim Bogar.

“I just thought it was pretty cool,” Soto said when asked if he was mimicking Bregman. “I wanted to do it.”

___

More AP MLB coverage: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

Stephen Strasburg holding the well-deserved trophy. (WTOP/George Wallace)
Sean Doolittle being interviewed after Wednesday’s World Series Game. (WTOP/George Wallace )
Trea Turner during an interview after Game 7 of the World Series. (WTOP/George Wallace)
Daniel Hudson (WTOP/George Wallace)
Anthony Rendon holds the trophy up high. (WTOP/George Wallace )
Dave Martinez with the World Series trophy. (WTOP/George Wallace )
WTOP's George Wallace captures the plenty of red at Minute Maid Park in Houston.
WTOP’s George Wallace captures the sea of red at Minute Maid Park in Houston. (WTOP/George Wallace)
The Washington Nationals celebrate after Game 7 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, in Houston. The Nationals won 6-2 to win the series. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
The Washington Nationals celebrate after Game 7 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, in Houston. The Nationals won 6-2 to win the series. (AP/Matt Slocum)
Washington Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon celebrates after Game 7 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, in Houston. The Nationals won 6-2 to win the series. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Washington Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon celebrates after Game 7 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, in Houston. The Nationals won 6-2 to win the series. (AP/David J. Phillip)
Washington Nationals left fielder Juan Soto, right, hugs catcher Kurt Suzuki after Game 7 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, in Houston. The Nationals won 6-2 to win the series. (AP/David J. Phillip)
Washington Nationals relief pitcher Daniel Hudson celebrates after Game 7 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, in Houston. The Nationals won 6-2 to win the series. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Washington Nationals relief pitcher Daniel Hudson celebrates after Game 7 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, in Houston. The Nationals won 6-2 to win the series. (AP/Sue Ogrocki)
Washington Nationals' Yan Gomes and Daniel Hudson celebrate after Game 7 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, in Houston. The Nationals won 6-2 to win the series. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Washington Nationals’ Yan Gomes and Daniel Hudson celebrate after Game 7 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, in Houston. The Nationals won 6-2 to win the series. (AP/David J. Phillip)
The Washington Nationals celebrate after Game 7 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, in Houston. The Nationals won 6-2 to win the series. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
The Washington Nationals celebrate after Game 7 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, in Houston. The Nationals won 6-2 to win the series. (AP/David J. Phillip)
The Washington Nationals celebrate after Game 7 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, in Houston. The Nationals won 6-2 to win the series. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
The Washington Nationals celebrate after Game 7 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, in Houston. The Nationals won 6-2 to win the series. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) (AP/Matt Slocum)
Washington Nationals' Howie Kendrick is congratulated by Juan Soto after hitting a two-run home run during the seventh inning of Game 7 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Washington Nationals’ Howie Kendrick is congratulated by Juan Soto after hitting a two-run home run during the seventh inning of Game 7 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) (AP/David J. Phillip)
Washington Nationals’ Howie Kendrick hits a two-run home run during the seventh inning of Game 7 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, in Houston. (AP/David J. Phillip)
Actor Matthew McConaughey does the play ball announcement before the start of Game 7 of the baseball World Series between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, in Houston. (AP/Sue Ogrocki)
Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio throw out the ceremonial first pitches before Game 7 of the baseball World Series between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, in Houston. (AP/Matt Slocum)
Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer throws during the first inning of Game 7 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, in Houston. (AP/Matt Slocum)
Houston Astros starting pitcher Zack Greinke throws during the first inning of Game 7 of the baseball World Series against the Washington Nationals Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, in Houston. (AP/Matt Slocum)
Houston Astros’ Yuli Gurriel hits a home run during the second inning of Game 7 of the baseball World Series against the Washington Nationals Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, in Houston. (AP/David J. Phillip)
Fans cheer during the fourth inning of Game 7 of the baseball World Series between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, in Houston. (AP/David J. Phillip)
Fans wait for the start of Game 7 of the baseball World Series between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, in Houston. (AP/Eric Gay)
Houston Astros’ Yuli Gurriel is congratulated after hitting a home run during the second inning of Game 7 of the baseball World Series against the Washington Nationals Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, in Houston. (AP/David J. Phillip)
Washington Nationals manager Dave Martinez has to be restrained after being ejected for arguing an interference call during the seventh inning of Game 6 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, in Houston. (AP/Matt Slocum)
In Game 6 in Houston, after the Nationals tried to play the game under protest over a call on Trea Turner, they were told they could not, and manager Davey Martinez exploded out of the dugout during the seventh-inning stretch. He had to be physically restrained by bench coach Chip Hale, but was still ejected, marking the first time a manager has been thrown out of a World Series game since Bobby Cox in 1996. (AP/Matt Slocum)
Two batters after a controversial call that led to Trea Turner being called out, Anthony Rendon made sure that wouldn’t come back to haunt the Nats, hitting a towering home run into the Crawford boxes in left field to stretch the lead to 5-2. (AP/Matt Slocum)
Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg is congratulated after being taken out of the game during the ninth inning of Game 6 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) (AP/Matt Slocum)
A fan watches during the ninth inning of Game 6 of the baseball World Series between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, in Houston. (AP/David J. Phillip)
In the top of the seventh during Game 6 in Houston, with the Nats leading 3-2, a controversial call caused a several-minute delay, as, with a runner at first and no outs, Trea Turner was called out on runner’s interference after he collided with Yuli Gurriel’s mitt heading into first base. Replay review seemed to indicate he was clearly in the baseline, but he was called out, leaving a runner at first with one out instead of second and third with nobody out. (AP/David J. Phillip)
A fan watches during the ninth inning of Game 6 of the baseball World Series between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, in Houston. (AP/David J. Phillip)
(AP/David J. Phillip)
Washington Nationals’ Juan Soto hits a home run off Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander during the fifth inning of Game 6 of the baseball World Series Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, in Houston. (AP/Eric Gay)
Washington Nationals’ Juan Soto celebrates his home run against the Houston Astros during the fifth inning of Game 6 of the baseball World Series Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, in Houston. (AP/Eric Gay)
(AP/Eric Gay)
Washington Nationals’ Juan Soto, right, celebrates after his home run with Adam Eaton during the fifth inning of Game 6 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, in Houston. (AP/Sue Ogrocki)
nats world series
Players from the Washington Nationals practice in the stadium before Game 6 of the World Series in Houston, Texas. (WTOP/George Wallace)
nats practice texas
Nationals players practice before Game 6 of the World Series. (WTOP/George Wallace)
Washington Nationals’ Juan Soto celebrates after his home run against the Houston Astros during the seventh inning of Game 5 of the baseball World Series Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Washington. (AP/Jeff Roberson)
Washington Nationals’ Juan Soto watches his home run against the Houston Astros during the seventh inning of Game 5 of the baseball World Series Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Washington. (AP/Patrick Semansky)
Washington Nationals' Victor Robles reacts after striking out during the seventh inning of Game 5 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Washington Nationals’ Victor Robles reacts after striking out during the seventh inning of Game 5 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Washington. (AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Jose Andres
Chef Jose Andres, center, takes a photo with a fan during Game 5 of a baseball World Series game between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park in Washington, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. Andres threw out the first pitch. (AP/Andrew Harnik)
Houston Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel forces out Washington Nationals’ Trea Turner at first during the sixth inning of Game 5 of the baseball World Series Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Washington. (AP/Jeff Roberson)
Washington Nationals’ Juan Soto celebrates in the dugout after his home run against the Houston Astros during the seventh inning of Game 5 of the baseball World Series Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Washington. (AP/Jeff Roberson)
Washington Nationals manager Dave Martinez yells at the home plate umpire during the seventh inning of Game 5 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Washington. (AP/Jeff Roberson)
Donald Trump
President Donald Trump, top center, stands and applauds as members of the military, foreground, are recognized during Game 5 of a baseball World Series between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park in Washington, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP/Andrew Harnik)
Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., takes a selfie with President Donald Trump during the seventh inning of Game 5 of the baseball World Series between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Washington. (AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Nationals Park is seen before Game 5 of the baseball World Series between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Nationals Park is seen before Game 5 of the baseball World Series between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Washington. (AP/Jeff Roberson)
President Donald Trump watches during the first inning of Game 5 of the baseball World Series between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Washington. (AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer speaks during a news conference before Game 5 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Washington. Scherzer was slated to start Sunday’s World Series game, has been scratched with spasms in his neck and right trapezius.
After a rainy start the day of Game 5, the sun finally began shining on Nationals Park hours before the game. (WTOP/Megan Cloherty)
Members of the Washington Nationals watch during the ninth inning of Game 4 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, in Washington. The Astros won 8-1 to tie the series 2-2. (AP/Patrick Semansky)
Members of the Washington Nationals watch during the seventh inning of Game 4 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, in Washington. (AP/Patrick Semansky)
Houston Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel, left, forces out Washington Nationals’ Trea Turner at first to end the seventh inning of Game 4 of the baseball World Series Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, in Washington. (AP/Jeff Roberson)
Houston Astros’ Alex Bregman (2) celebrates after his grand slam against the Washington Nationals during the seventh inning of Game 4 of the baseball World Series Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, in Washington. (AP/Jeff Roberson)
Houston Astros’ Alex Bregman hits a grand slam during the seventh inning of Game 4 of the baseball World Series against the Washington Nationals Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, in Washington. (AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
(AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Washington Nationals relief pitcher Tanner Rainey throws against the Houston Astros during the seventh inning of Game 4 of the baseball World Series Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, in Washington. (AP/Patrick Semansky)
Washington Nationals’ Gerardo Parra scores past Houston Astros catcher Robinson Chirinos during the sixth inning of Game 4 of the baseball World Series Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, in Washington. (AP/Jeff Roberson)
Houston Astros relief pitcher Will Harris celebrates after the final out in the sixth inning of Game 4 of the baseball World Series against the Washington Nationals Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, in Washington. (AP/Patrick Semansky)
Washington Nationals’ Trea Turner reacts after striking out against the Houston Astros during the sixth inning of Game 4 of the baseball World Series Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, in Washington. (AP/Jeff Roberson)
(AP/Jeff Roberson)
If you can’t squeeze into the bar, watch through the window. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
Houston Astros’ Robinson Chirinos, right, celebrates his two-run home run with Carlos Correa during the fourth inning of Game 4 of the baseball World Series against the Washington Nationals Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, in Washington. (AP/Patrick Semansky)
Houston Astros’ George Springer can’t catch a foul ball hit by Washington Nationals’ Anthony Rendon during the fourth inning of Game 4 of the baseball World Series Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, in Washington. (AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Washington Nationals’ Adam Eaton reacts after flying out during the third inning of Game 4 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, in Washington. (AP/Alex Brandon)
Houston Astros catcher Robinson Chirinos can’t catch a foul ball hit by Washington Nationals’ Patrick Corbin during the third inning of Game 4 of the baseball World Series Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, in Washington. (AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman, left, celebrates after Houston Astros’ Robinson Chirinos made the last out in the top of the first inning during Game 4 of the baseball World Series Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, in Washington. (AP/Patrick Semansky)
Washington Nationals’ Yan Gomes celebrates after a double against the Houston Astros during the third inning of Game 4 of the baseball World Series Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, in Washington. (AP/Jeff Roberson)
A packed house at the Salt Line, a bar near Nationals Park, during Game 4 of the World Series. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
Houston Astros’ Michael Brantley scores past Washington Nationals catcher Yan Gomes on a hit by Yuli Gurriel during the first inning of Game 4 of the baseball World Series Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, in Washington. (AP/Jeff Roberson)
Houston Astros’ Jose Altuve celebrates with Carlos Correa after scoring during the first inning of Game 4 of the baseball World Series against the Washington Nationals Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, in Washington. (AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Washington Nationals starting pitcher Patrick Corbin throws against the Houston Astros during the first inning of Game 4 of the baseball World Series Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, in Washington. (AP/Jeff Roberson)
Washington Senators great Frank Howard was part of the festivities before Game 4. (WTOP/Dave Preston)
Half an hour before Game 4, Nats Park is already packed. (WTOP/Jonathan Warner)
Two D.C. Fire and EMS trucks hold up an American flag outside Nats Park ahead of Game 4. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
Fans filed into Nationals Park ahead of Game 4. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
dc police, aerial, nats park
D.C. police helicopter captures scenes at the Navy Yard at Nationals Park during Game 3 of the World Series. (Courtesy D.C. police via Twitter)
dc police, aerial, nats park
D.C. police helicopter captures scenes at the Navy Yard at Nationals Park during Game 3 of the World Series. (Courtesy D.C. police via Twitter)
dc police, aerial, nats park
D.C. police helicopter captures scenes at the Navy Yard at Nationals Park during Game 3 of the World Series. (Courtesy D.C. police via Twitter)
dc police, aerial, nats park
D.C. police helicopter captures scenes at the Navy Yard at Nationals Park during Game 3 of the World Series. (Courtesy D.C. police via Twitter)
The Nats and Astros are introduced during Game 3 of the World Series. (WTOP/Jonathan Warner)
bar, world series
Fans watch Game 3 of the World Series from a bar near Nationals Park. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)
The scene outside Nationals Park ahead of Game 3 on Friday, Oct. 25, 2019. (WTOP/Brennan Haselton)
The scene outside Nationals Park ahead of Game 3 on Friday, Oct. 25, 2019. (WTOP/Brennan Haselton)
The Washington Nationals warm up during batting practice before Game 3 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Friday, Oct. 25, 2019, in Washington. (AP/Alex Brandon)
Fans try to catch a ball during batting practice for Game 3 of the baseball World Series between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals Friday, Oct. 25, 2019, in Washington. (AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Meyer Cabrera, 12, left, talks with is dad Washington Nationals second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera during batting practice before Game 3 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Friday, Oct. 25, 2019, in Washington. (AP/Alex Brandon)
(L-R) Anthony Rendon #6, Howie Kendrick #47 and Adam Eaton #2 of the Washington Nationals warm up during batting practice before Game 3 of the 2019 World Series against the Houston Astros at Nationals Park on Oct. 25, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Getty Images/Will Newton)
Trea Turner #7 of the Washington Nationals warms up during batting practice before Game 3 of the 2019 World Series against the Houston Astros at Nationals Park on Oct. 25, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Getty Images/Will Newton)
Washington Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon warms up during batting practice before Game 3 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Friday, Oct. 25, 2019, in Washington. (AP/Alex Brandon)
Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz take a selfie with Washington Nationals’ Juan Soto before Game 3 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Friday, Oct. 25, 2019, in Washington. (AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz give Washington Nationals’ Juan Soto a cake for his 21st birthday before Game 3 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Friday, Oct. 25, 2019, in Washington. (AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
David Ortiz talks to Washington Nationals’ Juan Soto before Game 3 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Friday, Oct. 25, 2019, in Washington. (AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz watch Washington Nationals’ Juan Soto swing the bat before Game 3 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Friday, Oct. 25, 2019, in Washington. (AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Bill Nye takes selfies in the dugout during batting practice prior to Game Three of the 2019 World Series against the Houston Astros at Nationals Park on October 25, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Getty Images/Will Newton)
Bill Nye takes selfies in the dugout during batting practice prior to Game Three of the 2019 World Series against the Houston Astros at Nationals Park on October 25, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Getty Images/Will Newton)
(Getty Images/Will Newton)
Photo of World Series field, Game 2 of World Series
A photo of the field in Houston before Game 2 of the World Series. (WTOP/George Wallace)
Fans watching Game 2 of the World Series in Houston
The crowd at Minute Maid Park cheer on their respective teams during Game 2 of the World Series between the Washington Nationals and the Houston Astros. (WTOP/George Wallace)
WTOP’s George Wallace traveled to Houston to cover the game. Follow him on Twitter for updates. (WTOP/George Wallace)
nats party, world series
Some 14,500 fans attend a watch party for Game 2 of the World Series at Nationals Park. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)
world series, astros
Astros fans show their spirit during Game 2 of the World Series. (WTOP/George Wallace)
nats, houston astros, world series, pat collins
Nats’ Ryan Zimmerman meets NBC Washington legend Pat Collins in Texas during Game 2 of the World Series. (WTOP/George Wallace)
nats, world series, houston astros
WTOP’s George Wallace and NBC Washington’s Pat Collins are in Texas for Game 2 of the World Series. (Courtesy George Wallace)
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Nats gear is in high demand, as fans line up to buy them at the team store at Nationals Park. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)
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A fan shows off his custom-made shirt during a watch party at Nationals Park for Game 2 of the World Series. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)
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Fans lines up at Nats Park for a watch party for Game 2 of the World Series. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)
A Washington Nationals player reaches for a ball during batting practice before Game 2 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019, in Houston. (AP/Matt Slocum)
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Fans show support during a watch party at Nationals Park for the Washington Nationals, as the team takes on the Houston Astros in Game 2 of the World Series. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)
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A Nats fan wears a shark costume during a watch party for Game 2 of the World Series at Nationals Park in D.C. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)
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A fan wears a shirt referencing Nationals player Howie Kendrick during a watch party at Nationals Park for Game 2 of the World Series. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)
(WTOP/Michelle Basch)
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Max Scherzer fans watch Game 1 of the World Series during a watch party at Nats Park. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)
Washington Nationals’ Ryan Zimmerman hits a home run during the second inning of Game 1 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019, in Houston. (AP/Eric Gay)
Washington Nationals’ Juan Soto hits a home run during the fourth inning of Game 1 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019, in Houston. (AP/Eric Gay)
Washington Nationals’ Juan Soto celebrates in the dugout after his home run against the Houston Astros during the fourth inning of Game 1 of the baseball World Series Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019, in Houston. (AP/Matt Slocum)
Washington Nationals’ Juan Soto celebrates in the dugout after his home run against the Houston Astros during the fourth inning of Game 1 of the baseball World Series Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019, in Houston. (AP/Matt Slocum)
Washington Nationals’ Juan Soto hits a home run during the fourth inning of Game 1 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019, in Houston. (AP/David J. Phillip)
Washington Nationals’ Juan Soto celebrates after hitting a home run during the fourth inning of Game 1 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019, in Houston. (AP/David J. Phillip)
Washington Nationals’ Victor Robles can’t catch a ball hit by Houston Astros’ Yuli Gurriel during the third inning of Game 1 of the baseball World Series Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019, in Houston. (AP/David J. Phillip)
Washington Nationals center fielder Victor Robles can’t get s glove on a single by Houston Astros’ Yuli Gurriel during the third inning of Game 1 of the baseball World Series Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019, in Houston. (AP/Matt Slocum)
(AP/Matt Slocum)
Houston Astros starting pitcher Gerrit Cole throws during the first inning of Game 1 of the baseball World Series against the Washington Nationals Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019, in Houston. (AP/David J. Phillip)
A Houston Astros fan gives a thumbs up before Game 1 of the baseball World Series against the Washington Nationals Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019, in Houston. (AP/David J. Phillip)
Melissa Guitron waits for the start of Game 1 of the baseball World Series between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019, in Houston. (AP/David J. Phillip)
Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch, right, and Washington Nationals manager Dave Martinez meet during introductions before Game 1 of the baseball World Series Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019, in Houston. (AP/Matt Slocum)
Members of the Washington Nationals stand on the field Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019, during tribute to umpire Eric Cooper, who died last weekend, before Game 1 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros in Houston. (AP/Matt Slocum)
Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer throws against the Houston Astros during the first inning of Game 1 of the baseball World Series Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019, in Houston. (AP/Matt Slocum)
Washington Nationals’ Ryan Zimmerman hits a home run during the second inning of Game 1 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019, in Houston. (AP/David J. Phillip)
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Fans gather at Nats Park for a watch party of Game 1 of the World Series. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)
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A fan dressed up as “Captain Obvious” holds a sign during a Nats watch party in D.C. on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)
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A fan holds a poster of Nats pitcher Max Scherzer during a Game 1 watch party at Nats Park. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)
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Rain does not keep fans away for a watch party for Game 1 of the World Series between the Washington Nationals and the Houston Astros. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)
nationals park, watch party
Fans line up at Nationals Park during a rainy day in D.C. for a World Series Game 1 watch party. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)
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WTOP's George Wallace captures the plenty of red at Minute Maid Park in Houston.
The Washington Nationals celebrate after Game 7 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, in Houston. The Nationals won 6-2 to win the series. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Washington Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon celebrates after Game 7 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, in Houston. The Nationals won 6-2 to win the series. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Washington Nationals relief pitcher Daniel Hudson celebrates after Game 7 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, in Houston. The Nationals won 6-2 to win the series. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Washington Nationals' Yan Gomes and Daniel Hudson celebrate after Game 7 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, in Houston. The Nationals won 6-2 to win the series. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
The Washington Nationals celebrate after Game 7 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, in Houston. The Nationals won 6-2 to win the series. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
The Washington Nationals celebrate after Game 7 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, in Houston. The Nationals won 6-2 to win the series. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Washington Nationals' Howie Kendrick is congratulated by Juan Soto after hitting a two-run home run during the seventh inning of Game 7 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
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Washington Nationals' Victor Robles reacts after striking out during the seventh inning of Game 5 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Jose Andres
Donald Trump
Nationals Park is seen before Game 5 of the baseball World Series between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
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Photo of World Series field, Game 2 of World Series
Fans watching Game 2 of the World Series in Houston
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