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Wire Taps: Stephen Strasburg forces Game 7; MLB tries, fails to explain miscall on Trea Turner grounder; Juan Soto homers (again)

Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news before the start of Game 7 of the World Series.

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World Series - Washington Nationals v Houston Astros - Game Six Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Welp, here we are. No sense in trying to make a prediction, but the one thing to watch for tonight is Max Scherzer: if he’s on and able to throw, watch out. If he’s not, well, hope the Nats can hit Greinke. And that’s it for the negativity shtick of the postseason: either the Nationals will win tonight and put it all to bed, or they’ll lose, which won’t be fun, but it’ll make sense. Then again, postseason baseball makes no sense.

For what is definitively the last time in the 2019 season barring a rainout in Houston’s domed stadium, here’s the heat from Houston:

Nationals responded to controversial Trea Turner call by leaving no doubt in Game 6 (WaPo)
It took 4 and 1/2 minutes for MLB to decide that they hadn't messed up in calling Trea Turner out at first for interfering with the throw. In about thirty seconds, Anthony Rendon made it all not matter. Finally, a break going against them didn't turn into a downward spiral — instead, it turned into a dominant close-out of a game.

World Series: Nationals force Game 7, beat Astros, 7-2, in Game 6 (WaPo)
The Nats will get one more chance because of Adam Eaton, Juan Soto, and Anthony Rendon breaking the dam on the offense after just a few good bounces, meaning the Nats will get to ride their ace one last time for all the marbles.

Sarris: Three quick observations from the Nationals’ win in World Series Game 6 (The Athletic)
The Nats will bunt until they die, apparently — and the Astros got the analytics wrong on Anthony Rendon's ground ball through the right side. Also, Bregman's home run doesn't normally get out, though Juan Soto's does — and, uh, nobody thinks MLB got it right on the Trea Turner call.

Thanks to Stephen Strasburg, Anthony Rendon and even Alex Bregman, the Nats will see Game 7 (WaPo)
The Nats will get a Game 7 (because of course) against their 107-win foes, the Houston Astros, thanks mainly to Stephen Strasburg, but also Anthony Rendon, and maybe Alex Bregman, who may well have woken a sleeping dog.

Anthony Rendon, Stephen Strasburg, Gerrit Cole play up to free agency (WaPo)
The big three free agents of the winter—Anthony Rendon, Stephen Strasburg (potentially), and Gerrit Cole—may all play a role in tonight's game. Scott Boras is willing to hold out for all of them, though Gerrit Cole will almost assuredly get the grand prize of the three.

Joe Torre Explains Controversial Interference Call on Nationals' Trea Turner (Bleacher Report)
"When Rosenthal asked why the play wasn't reviewable, Torre said that the play was a "judgment call" and therefore unable to be protested as well."

Stephen Strasburg Adds to Postseason Legend as Nationals Force Game 7 vs. Astros (B/R)
Alex Bregman got the game off to a contentious start. Juan Soto liked it enough to imitate it. Then things got testy with the umps, but Stephen Strasburg's dominant start underwrote the entire game.

Inside the Trea Turner interference call that led to Dave Martinez's ejection (WaPo)
Davey Martinez didn't want to talk about it (perhaps for fear of aggravating his heart condition), but his fiery ejection on top of Trea Turner's emotional outburst on the top step of the dugout (and his pointed remarks at Joe Torre after the game) made it very clear that the Nationals' continued argument with the umpires of this World Series weren't going away any time soon.

What Nationals' wild Game 6 win means for the World Series (ESPN)
Max Scherzer will get to come back. Juan Soto got the better of Justin Verlander. Davey Martinez became the first manager to get thrown out of a World Series game since Bobby Cox in 1996. But really, Game 6 of the World Series was Stephen Strasburg's show.

Juan Soto hits home run, carries bat to first to troll Alex Bregman (WaPo)
A.J. Hinch and Davey Martinez were the concerned parents, saying they would talk to their players. Alex Bregman was the apologetic older brother, remarking that he let his emotions get the best of him. And Juan Soto, well, he was the younger brother who was just getting in on the fun.

Stephen Strasburg's Game 6 start Nationals/Astros (
Stephen Strasburg escaped jam after jam, first limiting the damage while he tipped his pitches, then carrying the Nats through 8 and 1/3 innings, further cementing his status as one of the great playoff pitchers of this generation.

Juan Soto homers in World Series Game 6 (
"It was Soto’s third World Series home run, the most by a player 21 years or younger in a single Fall Classic, and at 111.4 mph, it was the Nationals' hardest-hit postseason homer since Statcast began tracking in 2015."

Stras neutralizes Astros, wills fired-up Nats to G7 (
This hasn't happened in the history of the "big four," but of course it happened to these Washington Nationals. Now, Game 7 will become a deviation from the norm—historically, as the Nationals could (lol) become the first team in pro sports history to win a series entirely on the road, or within the context of this series as the Astros (much more likely) become the first home team to win a game this series.

With chaos around him, Strasburg sends Nats to Game 7 (MASN)
Game 6 was, in a word, wild. It featured bat-dropping escapades, blown leads, protested calls, and none of it mattered because Stephen Strasburg flat out dominated all night long save for the first inning of the night.

Beer-clutching Nationals fan makes trip to Houston for World Series game, gets treated like royalty (Houston Chronicle)
Jeff Adams got a commercial, a t-shirt, and a flight to Houston for his heroism in Game 5.

MLB authentication process is serious business (WaPo)
The first pitch of the World Series at Nationals Park got flipped to a batboy, who handed it off to Wendell West, who then authenticated it. Also, the Baby Shark on the Nats' dugout got authenticated.

Kurt Suzuki sits again but would catch Game 7 (MASN)
Suzuki—no matter what happened on Tuesday night—said he would be ready for a Game 7.

Nationals score first in World Series Game 6 (
Once things got crazy later on, the first run of the game — produced by the first controversial infield hit by Trea Turner and a slap opposite field single to right — meant quite a bit.

Sarris: Why Stephen Strasburg is throwing the two-seamer again, and what the Astros can do about it (The Athletic)
Stephen Strasburg put his two-seamer in his back pocket for years. Then he brought it back out this season, throwing it inside to righties, getting foul balls and setting up a similar-looking changeup.

Stark: If the Nationals win the Series, they would wipe out 95 years of … well, what exactly? (The Athletic)
Before the events of Game 6 unfolded last night, Jayson Stark considered what it would mean if the Nats could, at some point, bring a World Series back to Washington. Since the last time it happened, October 10th, 1924, it's been 95 years — but it's been an odd, fractured 95 years. Compared to the Cubs, for whom the narrative about not winning a World Series dominated a century, it's a little different and less romantic, some say — though Thomas Boswell contends that this wait is just about as painful as any.