The Washington Nationals defeated the Houston Astros, 7-2, on Tuesday night to force a Game 7 in the 2019 World Series. Thanks to a brilliant start from right-hander Stephen Strasburg, a five-RBI game from Anthony Rendon and a few timely home runs, Washington kept its season alive.
This is the first World Series where the road team has won each of the first six games. No team has won a World Series before without winning a home game. Wednesday night at Minute Maid Park in Houston be the third winner-take-all Game 7 in the World Series in the last four years.
The Nationals are aiming to win the first World Series championship in franchise history. The last team to win the World Series in their first appearance was the 2002 Angels. The Astros, on the other hand, are hoping to win their second title in the past three seasons.
For more on the Nationals' win in Game 6, here are our big takeaways.
Why the Nationals won
Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg added to his excellent postseason resume with another strong start in the Game 6 victory. He threw 8 1/3 innings in the win, giving up two earned runs and five hits. He struck out seven batters and walked two. In 36 innings this postseason, Strasburg has 47 strikeouts against three walks (and one unintentional walk). Strasburg's Game 6 win was his sixth straight postseason start that he's won. He joined Randy Johnson and Francisco Rodriguez as the only pitchers to record five wins in a single postseason.
Strasburg's outing was certainly backed up with offense. With their backs against the wall, the Nationals woke up after a rough three-game stretch at home where they were 1 for 21 with runners in scoring position. The offense gained back the momentum thanks to some big at-bats from Juan Soto, Rendon and Adam Eaton.
Soto, the 21-year-old phenom, knocked his third home run of this World Series in the fifth inning. His shot off Astros starter Justin Verlander made him the youngest player in MLB history to hit three homers in a single World Series. He just turned 21 only a few days ago, mind you. The go-ahead solo shot gave the Nats a 3-2 lead in the fifth inning. Soto's monster homer left the bat at 111.4 miles per hour and traveled 413 feet.
Why the Astros lost
See aforementioned blurb on Stephen Strasburg. Simply put, this Astros offense was shut down by Strasburg. Houston scored just two runs in the loss, and they were produced by the first four batters the team sent to the plate. George Springer lead things off with a double and scored on a sacrifice fly from Jose Altuve. Alex Bregman homered (and carried his bat 90 feet) later in the inning.
It also didn't help that Astros right-hander Justin Verlander surrendered three runs. Verlander hasn't been his usual dominant self in the World Series. In fact, Verlander has yet to record a World Series win in his MLB career. In Game 6, Verlander allowed three earned runs in five innings of work. In seven World Series series, Verlander is 0-6 with one no-decision.
Anthony Rendon had himself a game on Tuesday night. He went 3 for 4 with five RBI, a double, a walk, and a home run. The homer -- a two-run shot to left field -- came off Astros reliever Will Harris in the seventh inning.
It's the turning point of this game, not just because it extended the Nats' lead to 5-2, but moreso because of its timeliness. Rendon's blast came right after aat first base went against the Nats and Trea Turner. After the bizarre call, for a between-inning outburst directed at the umpires.
Play of the game
Juan Soto took his big-time World Series moment and added some big-time attitude to it. After Astros third baseman Alex Bregman ran all the way to first base with his bat following his homer,. Take a look at the youngster having some fun after his go-ahead home run:
The winner-take-all Game 7 is set for Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET -- stream via fuboTV (Try for free). The Astros will send out right-hander Zack Greinke to face Nats right-hander Max Scherzer, but it'll be an all-hands on deck situation for both clubs' pitching staffs. The Nationals named Scherzer before the start of Tuesday's Game 6. Scherzer was scratched from his Game 5 start with stiffness in his neck and back. Greinke's last start came in Game 3 of the World Series where he gutted out 4 2/3 innings of one run ball while striking out six.
CBS Sports was with with the entire way updating this post with the latest scores, highlights and analysis from the game. Relive the action from Game 6 below.