Almost out of contention in May, champs in October. Howie Kendrick, Anthony Rendon, and the Washington Nationals completed their amazing comeback journey—fittingly with one last late rally on the road. In Game 7 of the World Series, no less. Kendrick and Rendon homered in the seventh inning as the Nationals overcame a two-run deficit, rocking the Houston Astros 6-2 Wednesday night to win the first title in franchise history, the AP reports. With all eyes on Max Scherzer and his remarkable recovery after a painkilling injection, these Nationals truly embraced their shot in the first Series when the road team won every game. Even more against the odds: Juan Soto and Washington rallied from behind to win five elimination games this postseason, an unprecedented feat.
World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg, new lefty Patrick Corbin, and the Nats brought the first World Series championship to the nation's capital since ol' Walter Johnson delivered the crown for the Senators in 1924. The incredible path these wild-card Nationals with the curly W logo took, well, no one could have imagined. Having lost star slugger Bryce Harper to free agency and beset by bullpen woes, Washington plummeted to 19-31 in late May. It got so bad there was talk around town the Nationals might fire Martinez and trade away Scherzer. Instead, they stuck with the mantra that sprung up on T-shirts—Stay In The Fight. And months later they finished it, indeed. For the 43,326 revved-up fans at Minute Maid Park, it was a combination of shock and disappointment. So close to seeing the Astros win their second crown in three years, they watched their chance suddenly vanish as Houston fell apart. (More on Game 7 here.)