The Houston Astros went into the seventh inning of game seven in the best possible situation: they had a 2-0 lead and Zack Greinke was pitching his best all postseason long. Greinke held the Nationals to only one hit and no runs through the first six innings.
It appeared as if the Astros would be celebrating their second World Series in three years.
Then, Anthony Rendon led off the top of the seventh with a solo home run to left field, putting the Nationals on the board and cutting the Astros’ lead in half. Greinke walked the following hitter, Juan Soto. It would be his last pitch of the season.
Will Harris relieved Greinke. The first batter he faced was Howie Kendrick. The veteran infielder was already a hero for the Nationals after hitting a 10th inning grand slam in game five of the NLDS, and lifting his team past the Dodgers. Kendrick came through for the Nationals, once again.
The count was 0-1, no balls and one strike. The home crowd was loud and rallying for their team to stay the course. Harris delivered the 0-1 pitch and Kendrick hit the ball to the opposite field, slicing it down the right field line. Everyone at home and in the stands watched with anticipation. The ball ricocheted off the foul pole, and Kendrick hit a two-run home run to give the Nationals a 3-2 lead.
Astros fans sat stunned. In the span of minutes, their World (Series) was crashing down. The Astros trailed for the first time all game.
Patrick Corbin held the Astros scoreless and the Nationals added an insurance run in the eighth, thanks to a single by Juan Soto. Adam Eaton drove in two runs in the ninth, making the score 6-2.
Daniel Hudson came into the game in the bottom of the ninth. The Astros had the top of their order up to bat: George Springer, Jose Altuve, and Michael Brantley. Springer hit a pop fly on the second pitch and Hudson struck out Altuve. The Nationals, now found themselves one out away from a World Series Championship.
The veteran Brantley stepped up to the plate. He took the first pitch for a ball, followed by a strike and another ball. Brantley fouled the next ball off, and then took another ball, making the count full. The Astros were down to their last strike. Brantley fouled another one off. On the final pitch, he swung and missed, dramatically. The upset was complete.
The Washington Nationals won their first ever World Series as a franchise. They also became the first team in MLB history to win four road games in a WS.
The players stormed the field, and the rain started pouring over Astros fans storming for the exits. Stephen Strasburg was named World Series MVP. He went 5-0 in the playoffs, the first player in league history to achieve this feat.