The Washington Nationals defeated the Houston Astros in Game 7 of the World Series on Wednesday night, thereby clinching the franchise's first championship title. Afterward, right-handed starter Stephen Strasburg was named the Most Valuable Player Award of the series.
Strasburg started Games 2 and 6 in the World Series -- each Nationals victories -- and delivered both times out. In Game 2, he threw six innings and allowed two runs. In Game 6, he tossed 8 1/3 innings and also permitted two runs. Combined, he accumulated 14 innings, 12 hits, four runs, three walks and 14 strikeouts. The Astros hit .222/.259/.407 off Strasburg and he walks away from the World Series with a 2.51 ERA to show for his efforts.
Strasburg's World Series outings Francisco Rodriguez, who accomplished the feat in 2001 and 2002, respectively.. He made six appearances during October and the Nationals won all of those contests. He became the third pitcher in history to record five victories in a single tournament, joining Randy Johnson and
Strasburg finishes the postseason with 36 innings and the following totals: 30 hits, nine runs (eight earned, for a 1.98 ERA), four walks, and 47 strikeouts. Opponents hit .221/.239/.368 against him, and he fanned more than a third of the batters he faced all month -- an absurd accomplishment, given it was the postseason.
It's worth noting that Strasburg is expected to opt out of his contract within the coming days. He was already presumed to be one of the top available free agents. Now, Strasburg will have an additional achievement under his belt that could increase his earning potential. Likewise, the Nationals have even more incentive to lock down one of their aces -- and arguably the key to their World Series championship.