It's always something when you can witness something that have never been done before. No, Washington D.C. has won a World Series. It came in 1924 and Calvin Coolidge was president, but it has been done. What hasn't been done is in a seven game series, in any sport, the team on the road won all seven games. In basketball, hockey, and baseball, there have been over 14-hundred series, and not once has that happened.
The seven-game battle between the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros will always be remembered for that. The game-within-the-game battles were classic, but a little unusual. Starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg was the Most Valuable Player, but what might be most memorable was how the tables were turned. Washington, which statistically had the worst bullpen in the majors, won with relief pitching. Houston's starting pitching was good, but leads were blown in the final innings. In all four games that the Nationals won, they had trailed.
Just think about it. Not once in the week-and-a-half long Fall Classic, did the home crowd, who spent hundreds of dollars for each ticket, go home happy. After winning the first two games in Houston, all the Nationals had to do was go home and take two-out-of-three. At least one win wold have given them the series lead going back to Houston. They couldn't do it.
Just think about it. After trailing 2-0, the Astros swept three games in the nation's capital. All they had to do was go home and win one game out of two with their great starting pitching. They couldn't do it. Baseball is by far the most unpredictable of sports, but this was the unpredictable-est. Even in game seven, with the road team winning the first six, if you predicted the road tem to win again, you were nuts. And they did.
Dodger fans remember Howie Kendrick and his grand slam that eliminated LA. Kendrick was also the MVP in the four-game sweep of the Cardinals, but that was nothing compared to the home run in game seven that gave Washington the lead for good. It always seem to happen. The star is the unlikeliest. With Strasburg, Max Scherzer, Anthony Rendon, Juan Soto, and more, it was Kendrick. Houston had Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, George Springer, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa, and on and on and on, and couldn't win four times.
In the District of Columbia, they are partying like its 1924, but yes fan, sports has never seen anything like this.
Individualism: The Dodgers may not have won the World Series, but they did win something. Cody Bellinger won the Gold Glove award for best National League right fielder. Other individual awards, such as Most Valuable Player, which Bellinger is a contender, come later this month. Hyun-Jin Ryu is also a finalist for the Cy Young award.
Half time: For those (like me) whose primary sports interest is baseball, you missed half the football season. The NFL just completed Week 9 out of 17. To catch you up, the following teams, in order of seed, would make the playoffs as of now. New England, Baltimore, Houston, Kansas City, Buffalo, and Indianapolis in the AFC, and San Francisco, New Orleans, Green Bay, Dallas, Seattle, and Minnesota in the NFC. No Rams or Chargers in there, but both are contenders.
Leaving the booth: For some reason, CBS thought it would be a kick to take their announcers out of the broadcast booth, and put them on the field. For the start of the second half of the Packers-Chargers game, Jim Nantz and Tony Romo called the action from field level. The 'experiment' only lasted one series, though, and then they made the short climb up the stairs and back into the booth for the rest of the game.
Ready or not...: College basketball starts tomorrow (Tuesday), and ESPN has an epic doubleheader. Third-ranked Kansas meets fourth-rated Duke, followed by top ranked Michigan State against number two Kentucky from New York City's Madison Square Garden. Hopefully Dick Vitale will be working at least one of the games, because the matchups are awesome with a capital A.
Early spring: 113 days until the first spring training game.