The 2019 season is over. Baseball has a new champion. The Washington Nationals defeated the Houston Astros 6-2 in Game 7 and have been crowned the 2019 World Series champions.
Tears flooded the eyes of the accomplished, from Dave Martinez to Max Scherzer, Aníbal Sánchez and many more. It was the raw emotion and heart the Nationals team sustained throughout 179 games that captivated the baseball world into falling in love with the 2019 Cinderella team.
Game 7 of the World Series epitomized the Nationals historic 2019 season. Martinez began the first 50 games with a 19-31 record. Yet, someway, somehow, he managed to bring DC its first championship since 1924 (Washington Senators) and the first championship to the Nationals franchise.
It all began when the Minute Maid Park quaked after Yuli Gurriel hit a solo home run in the bottom of the second inning against Max Scherzer, electrifying the Astros crowd and their hopes of witnessing their team deliver a World Series championship in Houston. The batton was passed to Carlos Correa in the fifth inning who tacked on another run against Scherzer to give the Astros a 2-0 lead.
As the seventh inning dawned on the last day of the season, Anthony Rendon took one look at a second-pitch changeup from Zack Greinke and sent it to the right field stands, slicing the Astros lead to one. Greinke would hand the ball to Will Harris after walking — a controversial walk, at that — Juan Soto to bring up DC’s hero. Howie Kendrick wasted no time launching a two-run home run against the right field flag pole to give his team a 3-2 lead and igniting the fire they needed to burnout the Houston Astros in Game 7.
“There’s guys in big moments you want up there,” Martinez said about his two major influencers in the 2019 postseason. “And those are two guys that when a big moment arises, you want them up there. And they’ve come through all year long for us in big ways. They have the knack to just stay calm and do what they need to do. And you saw that tonight.”
Dave Martinez became the second Puerto Rican manager in Major League Baseball history to win a World Series champion, he is second to Alex Cora who took the glory one year ago in 2018 with the Boston Red Sox.
Martinez scoped the field after the last out, hugging every Nationals player, coach and staff member he could find in sight, beaming a smile that reflected his “cured heart, ” “You guys cured my heart. I’m good. Tonight, I’ll celebrate with my boys because we are the world champions!” Dave Martinez said seconds before popping champagne with the men he managed to become World Series champions.
Many Latinos on the Nationals, both young and old, took the time to feel the hardware of the World Series trophy. The kids, Juan Soto and Victor Robles embraced in the outfield seconds after the final out, a journey they’ve endured together to become World Series champions.
Soto’s rise to stardom intensified throughout the postseason but the Nationals outfielder is most thankful for the two people who believed in him since the very beginning, “For me it’s amazing. Being with them, because they’ve been there since the first day, I was a little kid. They always tried to push me the right way,” Juan Soto said about his parents as they witnessed their 21-year-old son rise to the top of baseball’s Everest. “I think everyone is living the dream right now.”
Scherzer credited Gerardo Parra and Sánchez for their pivotal role of embellishing the team with the spark they always needed, “Just the team chemistry, the Latino culture,” Sherzer said as he stood next to Parra after the game. “We started partying (in the clubhouse) together, we started winning together, it just became the ultimate team aspect.”
There is no denying the influence of Latino culture and the chemistry between the 25 men who profoundly wore the Nationals uniform from the depths of their struggles to the peak of their success.
“I just feel really proud of these group of guys, they been really, really amazing,” Soto said about his teammates. “We got a couple guys at the middle of the season, they bring a lot more energy, they’re always right there, they always positive, I feel like everything goes in the right way because we’re positive, we never give, we always smiling, we always find a way to get it.”
The fight is finished. The Washington Nationals are World Series champions.
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