Quality play from both teams…excellent pitching and timely hitting. Washington finally fulfilled all that promise for those years even without Bryce Harper. The quality starting pitching on both teams was something.
I was so impressed with Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto of the Nats. Both are great hitters and could have been the MVP. Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer were great, too.
The Astros are the better team, in my view, but the Nationals just refused to lose. When you win all 4 games in front of another team’s fans, you deserve to be world champions.
Baseball is a funny sport. I tend to think the best team wins the championship less in baseball than any of the other major sports because it is so rhythmic. Washington is a perfect example - 19-31 start to the season and then the best record in the game after June 1.
A lot of the best college baseball teams have fallen victim to a team that got hot at the right time or that went through a lull at a bad time. Fresno State, Coastal Carolina and South Carolina are all teams in the last dozen years that have won national championships because they caught lightning in a bottle in the final five or six weeks.
This was my first extended look at Juan Soto. I am not sure I have ever seen a hitter that young who was that talented and that disciplined. He has the potential to be Mike Trout’s successor as the best player in MLB. He is old school in that he tries to hit it hard until 2 strikes, then he widens his stance and tries to make solid contact. He reminds me a little of Anthony Rizzo, another great hitter.
I still don’t understand why more hitters don’t use this approach. When the chips were down, you saw Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa hit the ball in the space left by the shift, but hardly anybody does that. It is so ridiculous to watch guys continue to hit into the shift when they could bunt or just touch the ball and get a base hit. That would stop some of that shifting.
I thought there was an interesting discussion about how well, or not, a team like the '82 Cardinals would do in this age of the defensive shift. They ran so much and hit to all portions of the field so that teams today could not shift on them. I wonder if we will see a GM build a team to do more of that.
Another decision I don’t understand by Houston was taking Zack Greinke out after he had only thrown around 70 pitches. He had given up 2 hits and 1 run in the 7th inning. He is one of the best pitchers in baseball. He wasn’t tired. The Nats were not getting good swings on him, at all. He made 1 mistake to a great hitter, Anthony Rendon and he hit a solid fly ball out the short porch in left. He is pulled and Washington scores 5 more in the next couple of innings. Who on the Astros that would pitch that night was better than Greinke except for Cole. Bring in Cole if you are pulling Greinke.
I think A.J. Hinch generally is a good manager, but he managed the pitching poorly last night. That is the kind of performance that can cost a manager his job. It won’t Hinch because he has a World Series title and he had the best team in baseball this year, but it reminded me some of the way Grady Little bungled Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS.
The difference was Hinch probably pulled Greinke too early and left the Cy Young Award winner in the bullpen. Little kept Pedro Martinez in too long.
I enjoyed the World Series this year! I was thankful the darn Yankees and Dodgers didn’t make it!
Houston left too many runners on base last night. They pulled their starter earlier than I would have. They totally mismanaged the bullpen last night.
Why not use Cole?