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Wire Taps: The Washington Nationals are World Series Champions; Stephen Strasburg MVP; Howie Kendrick comes through again

It happened. Spend your day reading about it instead of working, as if that was going to happen.

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World Series - Washington Nationals v Houston Astros - Game Seven Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

It’s 4:13 in the morning as I write this, because to even start thinking about reading everything from that game was a two hour process. Here’s what I’ll say — that my stupid adage about postseason baseball being unpredictable was, well, relatively true; that the constant negativity was pointless, though it helped me feel better; that none of this feels real, and it’s unclear if it ever will. But pennants fly forever, and the Nationals will raise one next March.

Here’s the scoop from South Capitol Street:

Nationals’ spirit triumphed over Astros’ numbers in the World Series. (WaPo)
The Nationals came from behind to knock out another giant at the toll of the bell, with Howie Kendrick matching up perfectly with Will Harris to knock in the third, winning run. But this was Max Scherzer's night, too, with a little luck on his side, too. In short, the Nationals established a new brand of baseball for themselves, with miracle after miracle. It happened, folks. It really happened.

This Nationals team will be forever bound by World Series glory built on defying odds (WaPo)
Journalism is the first draft of history, they say. So here's Jesse Dougherty with the first draft of the story that we'll tell our kids, grandkids, anyone who will listen for years and years: the story of the ace pitching through injury, one last late comeback, Ryan Zimmerman finally getting his ring. Tomorrow, we can worry about who will stay and go. Today, soak it in.

National champs: D.C. rallies again to win World Series (updated) - Nationals Pastime
"It had to happen this way. It could not have happened any other way. If the Nationals were going to win the World Series, if they were going to deliver Washington its first Major League Baseball championship in 95 years, they were going to have to do it the same way they had done it all season long - and especially all postseason long."

Howie Kendrick, unlikely World Series hero, comes through for Nationals one more time (WaPo)
Kendrick, essentially quiet for the World Series, woke up all at once with a line drive the opposite way that looked destined for foul ground. Then, the dimensions of Minute Maid Park, always part of the story, got involved as the ball hit the foul pole.

For World Series champion Nats, the team that wouldn’t die, there was no doubt, just hope (WaPo)
The growth process for this team happened so quickly that expectations skyrocketed from cellar to championship within four years. But remember those first agonizing six innings of Game 7, where it looked like the team wouldn't be able to pull it off one last time, and laugh at yourself. Remember these Nationals. Remember their consistency, their faith, their fortitude until the end.

Stephen Strasburg named World Series MVP after historic postseason run (WaPo)
“It’s just surreal,” Strasburg told Fox afterward, standing with the MVP trophy, his wife, Rachel, and their two daughters. “To be able to do it with these group of guys is something special. … I love every one of those guys. It took all of us to do it.”

Astros first team to lose four home games in World Series (WaPo)
Remember how bad it felt to lose three at home? Yeah, imagine that for the whole World Series. “We’re disappointed regardless of where we lose,” third baseman Alex Bregman said. “But, I mean, yeah.”

Washington Nationals Win the World Series (WSJ)
"In a gutsy performance that will define his career, Scherzer somehow survived five laborious innings in Wednesday’s decisive Game 7, pulling the Nationals to one of the most unlikely titles in recent memory. Down two runs in the seventh inning, Anthony Rendon and Howie Kendrick homered in the span of three batters, propelling the Nationals to a lead they wouldn’t relinquish."

Can Nationals repeat as champions in 2020? (NBC Sports)
They'll need to lock up Rendon and Strasburg, improve the bullpen, and get some serious rest, but it's totally possible, if not a lock in any way, shape or form.

World Series superlatives (ESPN)
When Scherzer and Strasburg were on the mound, the Nats didn't lose in the playoffs. That simple. Also, don't forget Jeff the beer guy, Baby Shark, POTUS at the Park, the return of the home run. And the postseason MVP, for what it's worth, was definitely Stephen Strasburg.

World Series: Scherzer, Sánchez share amazing hug after Nationals’ win (USA Today)
Scherzer and Sánchez should have—deserved to—get one together in Detroit. Instead, it happened in Washington, though the wait made it all the sweeter.

Adam Eaton: Forgotten Man Plays Big Role In Washington’s World Series Title (Forbes)
Eaton was supposed to solve the Nats' center field problem, before everything went quiet for a few years. Eaton brought himself back onto the big stage this year, coming up in the clutch not only in the Nats' magical return to competitiveness and in the World Series.

Nationals' World Series win gives D.C. third title in two years (Yahoo!)
Caps. Mystics. Nats. District. Of. Champions.

World Series Game 7: Howie Kendrick's homer will live forever (Yahoo!)
"Maybe this is just Kendrick’s type of stage... It’s the type of thing that Nats fans will never forget. And neither will Kendrick."

The Comeback Kid Washington Nationals Are World Series Champions (The Ringer)
The Nats got the job done an inning earlier than the norm for these playoffs, winning the World Series in the seventh. The Astros probably should have rolled to victory in both games six and seven, and yet, here we are.

A.J. Hinch Managed the Houston Astros Out of the World Series (The Ringer)
A.J. Hinch brought this dynasty-in-the-making together, figuring out how to piece together a 2017 World Series victory. Then, he outsmarted himself two years in a row, leaving the best pitcher in baseball idle in his bullpen.

Fight finished: Nationals rally once again and win World Series (NBCSW)
“You can’t describe a better team than what we have,” Max Scherzer said. “The moments we all shared. It wasn’t just one guy. It wasn’t just one moment. Everybody had a moment.”

Davey Martinez to Nationals following World Series title: 'You guys cured my heart' | NBC Sports Washington
""Before we get started with anything, this right here and you guys cured my heart," Martinez said. "I'm good." "Today, I want to celebrate with my boys, because we are World Champions!" Martinez said, champagne splashed in face."

13 stats that explain the Nats' clutch comebacks (
Here's the big one: "The Nationals join the 1914 Braves as the only teams to win the World Series in a season in which they were at least 12 games below .500 at any point, according to the Elias Sports Bureau."

Max Scherzer works 5 innings in Game 7 start (
“I know it’s hard to see that when he’s out here right now,” Erica May Scherzer said, standing next to the pitcher’s mound at Minute Maid Park, “but at that moment, it looked really, really bad. ... He could not move. We’ve been together 15 years. I’ve never seen him in that much pain.”

Stephen Strasburg named 2019 World Series MVP (
Stephen Strasburg, the line is, will never be able to meet his expectations. But he may have done just that last night, winning World Series MVP, the first number one pick to do so for the team that drafted him.

Scherzer limits damage over 5 IP in gutsy start (
Davey Martinez refused to go to his bullpen—he preferred an injured Max with limited command to anything Fernando Rodney could offer—and he escaped, somehow.

Kendrick’s HR among most clutch in history (
Kendrick's hit was the fifth-biggest hit in the last five decades, according to Championship Win Probability Added. It was bigger than any of the Freese homers, than Joe Carter's home run, than almost anything this side of Morgan, Davis, and Womack.

7 highlights for 7 games in crazy World Series (
Soto's homer. Strasburg's start. Greinke's dominance. Urquidy's dominance. Cole's dominance. Turner's call, and Rendon's home run. Howie Kendrick's homer. The moment. The damn moment.

Nats make road-win history, capture 1st WS title (
The misfits, the Viejos, the cortisone-fueled and tightrope-walkers somehow got Zack Greinke out of the game, handed the ball to Patrick Corbin, and grabbed a 6-2 lead.

Bradley Beal is a big fan of Juan Soto — and his bat-carrying antics (WaPo)
“I love him carrying that bat to first base, everything,” Beal said. “If they’re going to do that, return the favor: Smack that [expletive] out the park and then you drop the bat right at first base.”

Washington celebrates the Nats' first World Series title (WaPo)
The rain ended at just the right time. The Bullpen was full. The beer flew. It. Freaking. Happened.

Nationals' Max Scherzer grinds out five innings in Game 7 start (ESPN)
Scherzer, who literally could not move on Monday morning, emptied the tank and then some for his ballclub, going five two-run innings. While he played with fire all game long, throwing only 56% strikes and inducing almost no swings and misses, he somehow kept the Nats afloat for just long enough.

The seventh inning that shocked Houston and made the Nationals World Series champions (ESPN)
For the first time in postseason history, the road team won all seven games. The Nats did it with late comeback after late comeback, mowing down ace after ace, with Howie Kendrick coming up in the clutch time after time. The Nats went 1-0 on the last day of the season, and that's all that matters.

The Nationals Stayed in the Fight, Then Delivered a Knockout (NYT)
"Leave it to the Nationals to endure such a struggle and stand triumphant at the end. They edged the Astros, 6-2, in Game 7 on Wednesday at Minute Maid Park, and forged yet another comeback to do it. The Nationals played five elimination games this postseason, overcoming a deficit in every one."

Three quick observations from the Nationals’ win over the Astros in Game 7 of the World Series (The Athletic)
"In one of the most stunning October runs of this century — and frankly, that might be selling this feat short — the Nationals captured their first world championship, offering sweet relief to a city that had not celebrated a World Series title since 1924. In one final bit of magic, Howie Kendrick clubbed a go-ahead, two-run homer off reliever Will Harris in the seventh after the Nationals had chased starter Zack Greinke with one out."

Nationals Win Their First World Series With One Last Rally (NYT)
The Nationals—for whom Bryce Harper's absence was supposed to dominate the season—came back one more time in Houston, winning their fourth road game of the series and steamrolling one more dominant opponent.

Topless Nationals fan goes wild in World Series celebration (NYPost)

World Series: Washington Nationals beat Houston Astros in Game 7 (USA Today)
The Nationals had been digging out of this hole since May 24th. Last night, they definitively got out of it with one last comeback win that shocked the world.

Brews, Brisket, And Plugs For Statehood: The Many Wagers Of The World Series (DCist)
Tim Kaine's office will get Texas barbecue and Shiner beer courtesy of the office of Ted Cruz.

The Nationals Won The Freaking World Series (DCist)
"The story of the season seemed as if it were written to make the Nationals sentimental favorites."

Fans celebrate Nats World Series title win (WTOP)
WTOP has the man-on-the-street reporting from the win.

Astros fold in Game Seven. Nationals world champs with 6-2 win. (The Crawfish Boxes)
"Someone has to lose. This year it was the Astros’ turn. This is still a great team, a team with great players and wonderful people. I remain proud of them."

End of the road: Nationals beat Astros in Game 7 to win World Series - Houston Chronicle
"They supposed for seven months they were baseball’s best team, a hodgepodge of homegrown talent and terrific trade deadline acquisitions that authored the Houston Astros’ greatest regular season in its 58-year existence. There was an assumption, not a dream, of a World Series title, the stated goal from the first time this superteam met in West Palm Beach, Fla. last February."

Nationals promise ‘absolutely bananas’ World Series celebration in D.C. (WaPo)
The Nats went a little crazy last night in Houston, as they had every right to do. But they're going to try and give the Caps a run for their money in their celebration at home, starting tomorrow.

Getting Ejected From the World Series Has Always Taken a Lot of Screaming (Fangraphs)
Managers don't get ejected from World Series games that often, but when it happens, it takes a lot (when it happened in 1934, a literal fistfight broke out first).

Nationals World Series parade is Saturday in D.C. (WaPo)
The parade down Constitution is here. It'll start at 15th, and end at Pennsylvania and 3rd. Be there. Wear red. Get loud.

Suzuki scratched from lineup, Gomes to catch (MASN)
Kurt Suzuki was slated to come off the bench on Wednesday night after his hip flexor continued to act up on him.

World Series: Nationals' Dave Martinez had doctor check after ejection (USA Today)
"I had some fan screaming at me above the dugout when all this was going on, Davey, your heart. Remember your heart."