Houston Astros, MLB Postseason, Washington Nationals

Anthony Rendon, Nationals force Game 7 despite controversial blown call

Despite a blown call in the seventh inning, Anthony Rendon and the Washington Nationals forced a Game 7 in the 2019 World Series with a 7-2 win in Game 6 Tuesday night.

Through five games of the 2019 World Series, the home team had yet to win a single one. That trend continued Tuesday night at Minute Maid Park, as the Washington Nationals defied the odds with a 7-2 win over the Houston Astros in Game 6.

Despite losing three straight games at home after building a 2-0 series lead, despite a controversial blown call in the seventh inning and despite the Astros’ status as heavy favorites, the Nationals were able to force Game 7 with a little help from karma.

In the top of the seventh, Trea Turner was called for interference, despite a poor throw from pitcher Brad Peacock to Yuli Gurriel at first base. As Gurriel stretched to the baseline to make the catch, Turner continued running toward the base and ran into his hand and the ball. The runners advanced to second and third, but were ultimately called back as the ump ruled Turner had stayed inside the base path and interfered with Peacock’s ability to make the throw.

Turner was called out by umpire Sam Holbrook, the runners had to return to base and the terrible call was upheld after a lengthy review. Manager Dave Martinez came out of the dugout, protesting to no avail before eventually being thrown out. In the process, he became the first manager to be tossed from a World Series game since 1996.

Luckily, Anthony Rendon made sure justice was served, blasting a two-run homer off Will Harris just a few pitches later to give Washington a commanding 5-2 lead.

From there, the Nats piled on a few more insurance runs in the top of the ninth. With Adam Eaton and Turner on base, Rendon once again did massive damage at the plate, doubling to bring both runners home and give his team a 7-2 lead.

The Nationals struck first in the first inning, as Turner singled, advanced to second on Eaton’s sacrifice to catcher and then came home on a Rendon single. The 1-0 lead didn’t last long, however. Two batters into the bottom of the first, George Springer’s double turned into a 1-1 tie after a wild pitch by Stephen Strasburg allowed him to advance to third and Jose Altuve’s sacrifice fly to left field brought him home. That whole sequence only took four pitches.

After Michael Brantley struck out swinging, Alex Bregman homered off Strasburg again, giving Houston a 2-1 advantage and displaying a nice bit of taunting in the process:

The scoring was dormant until the top of the fifth inning, when solo shots from Eaton and then Juan Soto gave Washington a 3-2 lead. The Astros were unable to score in the bottom of the fifth despite having two men on and then again in the sixth inning with a man on first base.

Those missed opportunities came back to haunt Houston in the seventh, when the Nats quickly moved on from the blown call thanks to Rendon’s two-run homer. Rendon finished the game with 3 hits and 5 RBIs in four at-bats. Strasburg moved to 5-0 win the postseason, while Justin Verlander dropped to 1-4.

This marks the first postseason series across MLB, NHL and NBA where the road team won the first six games of a best-of-seven series (1,420 total).

Game 7 will be played at Minute Maid Park Wednesday night in a do-or-die showdown.

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