With each pitch at Series, call gets louder for robot umps

HOUSTON (AP) — From the box seats to the far reaches of the bleachers, all 40,000 umpires in the stands at Nationals Park were sure they could tell: Gerrit Cole’s fastball to Victor Robles missed the strike zone.

By at least an inch, clearly.

That’s not how Lance Barksdale saw it. He rung up Robles on strike three, leaving the Washington rookie hopping mad, and soon the ballpark was filled with angry chants at the plate umpire.

With every pitch at the World Series hurtling toward that strike zone box superimposed on TV screens, the call gets louder and louder: Bring on the robot umps!

“That’s a hot topic,” Houston manager AJ Hinch said Monday. “This is a big stage to be talking about hot topics. I guess it’s always possible.”

“I think it’s a little naive to think that simply letting computers generate strike or ball,” he said, “it’s incredibly naive to think that there’s not going to be pitfalls in that scenario, as well.”

Shortly before Robles struck out, Washington manager Dave Martinez was perturbed when a pitch by one of his relievers didn’t go the Nationals’ way.

“C’mon, Lance!” he shouted from the bench. “It’s the World Series! Wake up!”

Several umpires heard that hollering in Iowa. They’d met in Des Moines to attend the funeral service for one of their own, Eric Cooper, who died two weeks after working the AL playoffs.

To remember their friend, they went to a favorite spot of Coop’s on Sunday night. Game 5 of the World Series was on, and soon the shop talk turned to the subject of robot umps.

“It did come up. And yes, it’s frustrating,” said Dale Scott, who umpired in the majors for more than 30 years and worked the World Series three times.

“We’re never going to beat technology,” he said. “But do you want a video game or a game played by human beings?”

Major League Baseball is exploring the possibilities. The Arizona Fall League, made up of baseball’s top prospects, used computers to call pitches over the past month.

Video quickly circulated of Giants youngster Jacob Heyward getting called out on a pitch that nearly bounced, then being ejected by a human ump for arguing. But the overall reviews weren’t bad.

“For the most part, I don’t think it’s a terrible thing,” Arizona prospect Seth Beer said.

No doubt there will be plenty of discussion about the robots in upcoming contract talks between umpires and MLB.

Meantime, what particularly peeves umps is that TV box.

Scott said the actual strike zone MLB uses to evaluate umpires isn’t the same. Especially on high pitches.

“Ours is much more accurate than what you see on TV,” Scott said. “Do you notice how the zone is the same for Aaron Judge and José Altuve?”

“But people take what they see on TV as gospel. Then you see a 92 mph pitch with a lot of movement miss the box by a half-inch and the fans go crazy. It’s like, my god, what was that guy looking at?”

Also, while the plate is 17 inches wide, the strike zone is three-dimensional. A curveball can clip the front and almost end up in the dirt, or hook down to catch the back part of the dish.

Consider this, too: What is a strike?

As in, suppose the ball shows up side-by-side with the outside edge of the box, but there’s no overlap. Ball or strike?

“If you’re a catcher, you want more pitches. As a hitter, you want the strike zone smaller. It’s definitely not easy,” Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki said. “You’re not going to be perfect. Obviously we understand that.”

“You want the strike zone to be consistent. But these guys are human,” he said. “It’s part of the baseball game. You’ve got to deal with it.”

A day before his Astros took a 3-2 lead into Game 6 on Tuesday night, Hinch saw both sides of the debate.

“I’m always interested in improving the game. I’m interested in advancing things that maybe we didn’t think 10 years ago that were relevant. And now all of a sudden that they are,” he said.

“If we can better the game, I’m all for it. And perhaps that’s an avenue that we’re going to go down some day,” he said.

If that happens, Hinch had one more thought.

“Be careful what you wish for,” he said.

___

AP Sports Writer David Brandt contributed to this report.

___

More AP baseball: 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)
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)
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’ 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)
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)
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Players from the Washington Nationals practice in the stadium before Game 6 of the World Series in Houston, Texas. (WTOP/George Wallace)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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)
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)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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)
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Some 14,500 fans attend a watch party for Game 2 of the World Series at Nationals Park. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)
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Astros fans show their spirit during Game 2 of the World Series. (WTOP/George Wallace)
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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)
nats park, watch party, game 2, world series
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)
nats, watch party, world series, game 2
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)
nats, watch party, world series, game 2
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)
nats, watch party, world series, game 2
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)
nats, watch party, world series, game 2
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)
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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)
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)
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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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dc police, aerial, nats park
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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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