Raising the trophy in D.C.

By Xavier Sanchez

Washington D.C. is best known for being the capital of the United States of America. As of late, it has become the latest “Titletown” after yet another D.C. franchise has won a championship. During the summer of 2018, the Washington Capitals won the Stanley Cup; this summer, the Mystics won the WNBA championship trophy; and just this past week, the Nationals won their first ever World Series Title.

It was a World Series like none have ever seen before, as the home fans left each game without witnessing their favorite team reaching a victory. The highlight of it all was seeing the Washington Nationals take the series to a Game 7 against the Houston Astros. The 107-win Astros were not not a team known to let games be handed to their opponents. But this Nats team was all fight considering they overcame their 19-31 record and 10 games back in the standings.

The final World Series game would be a fight from the first pitch to the end of the game. It was the first time two former Cy Young winners (Max Scherzer and Zack Greinke) would be pitching against each other in a Game 7.

Astros took a 2-run lead into the seventh inning before the Nationals finally got their offense cooking. Anthony Rendon hit a one-out, solo home run to put the Nats within in one run of the Astros. This would not last long as 36-year-old Howie Kendrick gave the Nationals a 3-2 lead on his 2-run home run that hit the foul pole.

The Nationals went on to add runs in the eighth and ninth innings while Patrick Corbin and Daniel Hudson shut down the usually potent Astros’ offense. The duo combined to pitch four scoreless innings, surrendered only two hits, and struck out five batters. Washington National took Game 7 over the Houston Astros, 6-2.

After their Wednesday win, plans were finalized to have a parade on the following Saturday (Nov. 2) and become — arguably the quickest — to take a trip to the White House on Monday, Nov. 4.

Washington D.C. was flooded with Nationals fans in their red, white, and blue from Constitution Ave. to Pennsylvania Avenue for the parade. Fans witnessed large double-decker buses of their favorite team’s players, a F-16 flyover, and even the Racing Presidents riding bicycles.

A visit to the White House after winning a championship has become a subject of controversy, as some over-analyze those who attend and do not attend. At the end of the day, it is just another day to celebrate their accomplishments and be treated to a nice meal.

Attendees included manager Dave Martinez and star players like Max Scherzer, Juan Soto, Stephen Strasburg, and Ryan Zimmerman as well as several others. Sean Doolittle and Anthony Rendon were one of the handful of players that sat out the White House visit.

It was your textbook visit for most of the afternoon until Kurt Suzuki did the unexpected and caused social media to run rampant. President Donald Trump, during his speech congratulating the team, gave a shutout to Suzuki and proceeded with inviting him over to speak. Once in front of the podium, Suzuki put on the bright red “Make America Great Again,” or MAGA, hat. President Trump was in awe and gave him a bear hug from behind.

“I love you all; I love you all,” Suzuki repeated. “Thank you.”

Obviously, many took issue with this encounter, but as most things on the internet, it will blow over. All that will be remembered from the past week is the Washington Nationals capping of one of the greatest turnarounds in professional sports.

The 2019 Major League Baseball season has come to a close with a new champion being crowned in the Washington Nationals. While they have time to celebrate, 2020 is on the horizon and 29 other teams are coming for their spot and hope to win a World Series title. The 2020 season is only 143 days away; the clock is ticking.

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Xavier is a staff writer for The Lorian.

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