A couple Virginia Baseball alums are going to be partying tonight in Houston as the Washington Nationals took down the Houston Astros in Game 7 of the 2019 World Series. Former Wahoos Ryan Zimmerman and Sean Doolittle played instrumental roles throughout the postseason, with the Nats claiming their first franchise title with the 6-2 win late Wednesday night/early Thursday morning.
The Nationals won the first two games of the series — both in Houston — before dropping three straight home games in DC. An outstanding performance from eventual World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg forced a Game 7, and Washington delivered. After falling behind 2-0 in the second inning, the Nationals used a three-run inning in the seventh inning to take a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. They added three more runs over the final two innings of the game to give a little breathing room to the pitching staff, and history was made.
Here's Zimmerman's immediate reaction to the final out. pic.twitter.com/CEcguFiTmE— Bennett Conlin (@BennettConlin) October 31, 2019
Zimmerman, who was drafted with the Nationals’ first franchise draft pick in 2005, went 1-for-3 with a walk in the decisive Game 7. Doolittle closed out Game 6 after Strasburg’s masterpiece, giving up one walk and facing three batters. Doolittle saw action in nine postseason games for the Nats, pitching 10.1 innings and registering an ERA of 1.74.
This puts a bow on a season that was a real rollercoaster for the Nationals, a team that had a 12-16 losing record to end April. The Nats had to win the NL Wild Card play-in game against the Milwaukee Brewers, where they scored three runs in the 8th inning to win 4-3 and move on. Facing elimination yet again, Washington got back-to-back home runs on Clayton Kershaw to send Game 5 against the Los Angeles Dodgers to extra innings. Howie Kendrick bombed a grand slam to put the Nationals through to the NLCS, where they swept the St. Louis Cardinals to make the World Series and face the Astros.
Congratulations to Zim, Doo, and the Nationals!