The 2019 World Series ended in a winner-take-all finale at Minute Maid Park, where the Washington Nationals stunned the hometown Houston Astros.
Here's how it went down before, during and after Game 7.
Anthony Rendon on the field minutes after winning the World Series: "I want bourbon!" pic.twitter.com/wJY5fXgDRw— Dan Mullen (@DanMullen_ESPN) October 31, 2019
Time for a quick team photo with the new hardware pic.twitter.com/FP7wdAxNNS— Dan Mullen (@DanMullen_ESPN) October 31, 2019
Max Scherzer can't hold back tears. pic.twitter.com/FjtqMNeqpN— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) October 31, 2019
The Nationals are the 2nd team in MLB history to win the World Series after being at least 12 games below .500 during the regular season (1914 Braves).— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 31, 2019
They are also the 1st team in MLB history to win 3 winner-take-all games in a single postseason. pic.twitter.com/Y9lCONbLQR
Daniel Hudson closes out the World Series.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) October 31, 2019
I think I've got a new chapter to write.
The Washington Nationals are three outs from a World Series championship.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) October 31, 2019
Juan Soto single. Nats lead 4-2. Juan Soto is superhuman.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) October 31, 2019
From ESPN Stats & Info: Anthony Rendon and Howie Kendrick are the fourth and fifth players -- and first teammates -- to homer in multiple winner-take-all games within a single postseason.
Wow! Howie Kendrick plays postseason superhero again in stunning style as he greets Will Harris with a two-run home run off the foul pole in right field to give the Nationals the 3-2 lead. Zack Greinke pitches an unbelievable game and leaves with a no-decision.
That 2-1 pitch by Zack Greinke to Juan Soto was a strike. Like, a no-doubt-about-it strike. Soto wound up walking. Tying run on base. Greinke is done. Here comes Will Harris.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) October 31, 2019
Don't start the celebration just yet, Astros fans. Anthony Rendon unloaded on a low changeup over the center of the plate, cutting the Astros' lead to 2-1 and quickly bringing a sense of tension back to Minute Maid Park.
Max Scherzer's World Series Game 7 will come to an end after he allowed two runs and threw 103 pitches in five innings. It wasn't vintage Mad Max, but also a pretty incredible performance from a guy nobody was sure would even be able to pitch two days ago.
That will be Max Scherzer's last batter of the night. The Astros' lineup is just unrelenting and made him grind for every out. They scratched two runs across against him. In the meantime, Zack Greinke is still in with almost half as many pitches in five innings as Scherzer threw.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) October 31, 2019
The Astros finally got the big hit they've been waiting for with runners in scoring position as Carlos Correa smokes a two-strike single off the glove of a diving Anthony Rendon to add to Houston's lead and fire up the crowd at Minute Maid Park even more.
ESPN Stats & Info dug this up for us: It's the game story from the last and only time Gerrit Cole pitched in relief. https://t.co/iHRzNpb1QC— Bradford Doolittle (@bbdoolittle) October 31, 2019
Zack Greinke has been brilliant through five innings. One batter over the minimum, one hit allowed, tons of soft contact, only 59 pitches. Astros still lead, 1-0.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) October 31, 2019
And guess who's walking to the bullpen right now? Gerrit Cole.
The energy at Minute Maid Park is as electric as it's been at any time this October. The Astros keep jabbing at Max Scherzer, with eight baserunners over four innings. According to baseballsavant.com, the Astros have a .393 expected batting average on the balls they've put into play; the Nats are at .320. Yet it remains 1-0. Houston has not been able to land the knockout punch against a Washington team that's come back time and again all month.
Zack Greinke fans Anthony Rendon to end the fourth on a 3-2 fastball riding in on Rendon's hands. He also had two more assists, giving him four for the game. He's thrown just 41 pitches. But the Astros are 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and the score remains 1-0.
Besides being a potential Hall of Famer as a pitcher, Zack Greinke is about as good as it gets on the mound defensively. The five-time Gold Glover has made four strong defensive plays so far in Game 7 to help keep the Nationals off the scoreboard.
Max Scherzer isn't fooling anyone in Game 7, but there's nobody warming up in the Washington bullpen. This has the feeling of a game that could get away from the Nats at any moment.
Zack Greinke has faced the minimum through three innings on 28 pitches. He is cruising. First time through the order, the Nationals look like their Games 3-5 selves.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) October 31, 2019
Astros exit velocity vs. Max Scherzer in the second inning:— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) October 31, 2019
Yuli Gurriel: 100.8, HR
Yordan Alvarez: 106.1, 1B
Carlos Correa: 104.8, 1B
George Springer: 105.2, lineout
They are hitting Max Scherzer very hard. Dave Martinez should know that and have a contingency plan ready.
The Astros strike first as Yuri Gurriel homers off a 2-1 slider deep into the Crawford Boxes in left field -- a low screamer at 100.8 mph that kept rising as it soared over the fence. In other words, a legitimate blast, not a cheap one like so often is hit there. Big deal? The team that scores first is 25-14 in Game 7s.
Astros strike first. Yuli Gurriel took Max Scherzer into the Crawford Boxes. Houston leads, 1-0. An 87-mph slider, low in the zone. Not a bad pitch. Gurriel is just a really good hitter.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) October 31, 2019
Zack Greinke works around a leadoff single by Juan Soto in the second inning -- another 109-mph laser -- but got Howie Kendrick on a half-swing 1-4-3 double play. Greinke turned 12 double plays this year. No other pitcher turned more than five. Yes, he'll win the Gold Glove Award (oh, he also slugged .508 and was disappointed this game wasn't being played in an NL park).
Max Scherzer's first pitch of the game: 97 mph. George Springer takes the first five pitches to work the count full and then flies out to center field against a 96-mph fastball -- right down the middle that Springer just missed. Max's Kirk Gibson/Willis Reed moment is under way.
From ESPN Stats & Info: Zack Greinke threw eight pitches in the first inning, tied for his fewest in a first inning all season and his fewest since joining the Astros.
The Astros' Zack Greinke threw just eight pitches during a 1-2-3 first. Two of the three balls left the bat with exit velocities that wouldn't be considered speeding in most states. Not a bad beginning.
Pregame: Interviews, BP, news, trivia & more
Orange tops versus blue tops. Most colorful Game 7 since Orioles and Pirates in 1979! https://t.co/FirobKFG1F— David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield) October 31, 2019
Let's see if these two guys are still talking to each other nine innings from now:
What to wear at Game 7 if you're a Nats fan? A Brad Wilkerson jersey, of course:
Nats in 7. Soto MVP. Documented. Let's go!: World Series expert picks: Will Astros or Nationals win it all? https://t.co/Mgt23cCZBO— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) October 30, 2019
Juan Soto has a chance to become the youngest World Series MVP in MLB history. Currently, 1985 WS MVP Brett Saberhagen holds that honor.
Stephen Strasburg is 5-0 this postseason. Max Scherzer is 3-0, hoping to get to 4-0. Other teammate pairs who went at least 3-0 in the same postseason: Josh Beckett (4-0) and Curt Schilling (3-0), 2007 Red Sox; Dave Stewart (4-0) and Mike Moore (3-0), 1989 A's; Orel Hershiser (3-0) and Tim Belcher (3-0), 1988 Dodgers.
There have been 39 previous winner-take-all Game 7s, so 78 different SPs. The starter allowed 0 runs in 12 games (although two were short outings of 2.1 and 0.1 innings) and 1 run another 15 times.— David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield) October 30, 2019
Best game score in Game 7: Sandy Koufax 1965 w/ a 3-hit shutout (88), followed by Jack Morris 1991 with his 10-inning shutout (84). Worst: Walter Johnson 1925 (26). On a rainy, mud-caked field in Pittsburgh, Bucky Harris left him to allow 9 runs and 15 hits in 8 IP in 9-7 loss.— David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield) October 30, 2019
Of the last 10 Game 7s, so 20 different starting pitchers, only four have gone more 6.1 IP: Schilling in 2001 (7.1), Morris in 1991 (10), Smoltz in 1991 (7.1) and Viola in 1987 (8). Average per game: 5.0 innings. Expect relievers tonight.— David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield) October 30, 2019
Top 5 Game 7 matchups since 1950 (based on ability/reputation of pitchers at time, not Game 7 performance): 1. Clemens-Schilling '01; 2. Scherzer-Greinke '19; 3. Tudor-Saberhagen '85 (Tudor had monster '85); 4. Koufax-Kaat '65; 5. Gibson-Lonborg '67 (Lonborg won Cy Young in '67— David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield) October 30, 2019
Looks like we're going to see a lot more Nats here tonight:
With the Nationals stretching next to the cage, Alex Bregman is taking his batting practice cuts. And no, he has not trotted down the first-base line with his bat in hand.
Dave Martinez draws a big laugh when he says during his outburst over the Trea Turner play a fan above the dugout was yelling, "Davey, your heart!" Martinez had a heart procedure in September.— David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield) October 30, 2019
Ryan Zimmerman on what to expect from Max Scherzer tonight: "I assume you'll see vintage Mad Max out there. He'll be amped up. Huffing and puffing."
AJ Hinch on Anthony Rendon: "He's one of the most impressive superstars in our game. But I hope he goes 0-for-4. And then gets a big contract in the offseason."— David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield) October 30, 2019
When I asked a Nationals fan at my hotel today why he came to Houston, his reply was simply "It's Game 7, brother." But a lot of Astros fans seem more frustrated that it didn't end in six than excited for tonight. "Houston is depressed," one Astros fan told me this afternoon.
Who might win World Series MVP? Leaders in Win Probability Added (WPA) through game 6; 1. Springer 0.47 2. Strasburg 0.37 3. Soto 0.32 4. Doolittle 0.31 5. Urquidy 0.21 6. Rendon 0.19 7. Alvarez 0.15 8. Bregman 0.13