On its own, that outcome was a surprising development. But there’s another aspect that makes it downright shocking.
Washington won the series despite never winning a home game at Nationals Park. The Nationals went a perfect 4-0 at Minute Maid Park by winning Games 1, 2, 6 and 7, which makes them the first team in MLB history to win four road games in a single World Series.
[Championship gear: Get your Washington Nationals World Series title merchandise here]
If that’s not outrageous enough, this isn’t just a first for baseball. A road team going 4-0 in a best-of-seven championship has never been done in the NBA or NHL, either.
Nationals are 1st team in MLB/NBA/NHL history to win 4 road games in any postseason series
— Katie Sharp (@ktsharp) October 31, 2019
To get it done, Washington had to defeat both Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander to begin the series.
Considering Cole had gone 25 straight starts without a loss before Game 1, the Nationals had already defied some pretty big odds.
After returning home and losing three straight games to put their title hopes in the balance, the resilient Nationals found a way to bounce back to win two more in Houston to close it out. In doing so, the Nationals also became the first team to win five straight elimination games in which they trailed.
Both teams were dominant at home
We’ll give you one guess which team had the best record at home during the regular season.
If you said Houston Astros, you’re on the money. Houston was the only team to win 60 games at home.
That dominance continued into October. The Astros went 3-0 at Minute Maid Park to eliminate the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS and 2-1 against the New York Yankees in the ALCS.
The Nationals were a tough team to beat at home, too. They won 50 at Nationals Park in the regular season and were 3-1 in October. Add it all together, that’s a combined home record of 118-54 before the World Series and 0-7 during it.
Baseball, man. The more you try to understand it, the less you seem to know.
Gerrit Cole on road teams winning every game of the WS: "They're a good team. I don't want to say I'm so shocked that they can win four games [at MMP]. But I think both teams would have imagined that somebody would have been able to defend their home turf at least once."
— Alyson Footer (@alysonfooter) October 31, 2019
One would think a home World Series crowd could will its team to at least one victory.
It just wasn’t meant to be in 2019.
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