We’ll see you tomorrow night. The Washington Nationals hit the road on Tuesday night and stole Game 6 of the World Series from the Houston Astros with a 7-2 win.
It got exciting early with the Nationals jumping out to an early 1-0 lead against Justin Verlander. The Astros responded immediately with a huge, two-run inning off Stephen Strasburg.
Verlander came up short again in the World Series. Washington’s hitters weren’t fooled by his repertoire and they worked up his pitch count until another offensive explosion in the fifth inning.
The Nationals had the momentum they needed and added on, overcoming adversity along the way, and forced a Game 7 behind big home runs and an incredible start by Strasburg.
Here are the winners and losers from Washington’s 7-2 win over Houston in Game 6 of the World Series.
Winner: Stephen Strasburg, pitcher, Washington Nationals
There are few better in baseball history than Strasburg in October. He took the mound for the biggest start in his life with his team’s season on the line against one of the best lineups in recent memory. After a rough first inning, Strasburg silenced Minute Maid Park for the rest of the night.
The 31-year-old mowed down Houston’s lineup from the second inning on and never allowed it to grasp a feeling of hope again. The Nationals can now win the World Series in Game 7 and it’s because Strasburg delivered 8.1 incredible innings. He comes out of this with a 1.46 ERA in 55.1 career postseason innings. It’s an incredible track record to have as he prepares to potentially hit free agency.
Loser: Justin Verlander, pitcher, Houston Astros
Verlander took the mound on Tuesday night with a chance to add even more stunning accomplishments to his legendary career. A dominant start would get him his first World Series win and delivered a championship to Houston. Unfortunately for the veteran, his old demons came back to haunt him.
Home runs were Verlander’s Achilles’ heel during the regular season and it got worse this October. The future Hall of Famer tied Clayton Kershaw’s 2017 mark with the most home runs allowed in a single postseason (seven). Verlander has achieved a plethora of historic achievements in his career, but he can’t win a World Series game.
Winner: Anthony Rendon, third baseman, Washington Nationals
Rendon’s defense in this series should be remembered for years to come. He’s robbed Houston of countless hits with absurd web gems at third and kept runs off the board. He saved his best moment for the very minute Washington needed it the most.
The Nationals could have crumbled after being robbed of a crucial base runner. They clung to a one-run lead in the seventh inning and that moment can crush confidence. Instead, Rendon launched the most clutch home run in his career and turned burning rage into a three-run lead. It’s a moment baseball fans will never forget.
Loser: Carlos Correa, shortstop, Houston Astros
Houston’s bats went cold at the worst times on Tuesday and Correa is responsible for two missed chances. The All-Star shortstop had a great opportunity to extend the team’s 2-1 lead in the fourth with two runners on. He struck out swinging on a pitch in the dirt and allowed Strasburg to get locked in once again.
The World Series offered him a shot at redemption in the sixth. He represented the go-ahead run with Yordan Álvarez on first. An RBI double would light up the crowd and a go-ahead home run might’ve created ground tremors in the city. Instead, Correa struck out on another ball in the dirt. We’ve witnessed greatness from Correa in moments like this before and Houston desperately needs it in Game 7.
Winner: Juan Soto, outfielder, Washington Nationals
Coming off two outstanding performances in the first two games of the World Series, Soto seemed to cool off when he turned 21 before Game 3. While a late home run in a Game 5 loss didn’t change the outcome, it changed Soto’s fortune for Game 6.
The 21-year-old utterly launched the go-ahead home run and epically trolled Alex Bregman. Soto gave his teammates and an entire city new life and we still don’t know if that ball has landed yet. He’s proven time and time again that he thrives in the most crucial moments – that bodes well for Game 7.
Loser: Sam Holbrook, home plate umpire
Here we are again for the second consecutive game in the pinnacle of America’s pastime. Millions of fans, both die-hard baseball fans and even those newer to the game, watched as Holbrook took over the game with a series of horrendous calls.
The veteran umpire’s strike zone was just as bad as Game 5 and perhaps even worse. Of course, all of that was overshadowed by one of the worst judgment calls in World Series history. Holbrook’s track record, even before this, was shaky and the decision to have him work the World Series is beyond questionable. If MLB wants this game to grow, umpires like Holbrook should be as far away from baseball as possible.