World Series 2019: Three reasons why the Astros’ legacy is on the line

Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /
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Houston Astros
Washington Nationals, the Houston Astros’ opponent in the World Series (Photo by Jonathan Newton /The Washington Post via Getty Images) /

Reason #2: The fight for the right to be America’s team

Sizing things up

If anybody is already saying that the Astros had just played in the real World Series against the Yankees and this will be a coronation, think again. The Washington Nationals didn’t get here by luck. They got here with strong pitching and timely hitting. But what makes this team a difficult challenge is the amount of adversity they have dealt with before.

Originating as the Montreal Expos in 1969, they had two heartbreaking moments in their history. One was in 1981 when they came one game away from the World Series like the 1994 squad had the best record only to have their season end along with the rest of baseball due to the strike. Not able to stay in Canada because of their inability to get a new downtown stadium, the team moved to Washington D.C in 2005.

Seven years later, they made the playoffs. But from 2012-18, the Nationals suffered playoff heartbreak. Just like the Astros from 1997-01, they didn’t get past the NLDS. To make things even more difficult, the Nationals lost Bryce Harper to free agency and started the season at 19-31. Well, they made it with 74 wins, the most by any team after the fifty-game mark. They came back to beat Milwaukee in the Wild Card game, stunned the two-time NL champion Dodgers in the NLDS, and swept the Cardinals.

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The Nationals had to wait a week before the World Series kicks off. But you can bet that they will be ready. While the Astros have Verlander and Cole, who both led the league in strikeouts this past season, Max Scherzer, Patrick Corbin, and Stephen Strasburg are also in the top ten in strikeouts as well. So this will involve another tough battle against an opposing rotation.

Although their offense isn’t as high explosive and intimidating as the Astros, Washington does have good hitters, including Anthony Rendon, former Rice University player who played high school baseball at Lamar High, who has over 120 RBI on the season.

People will say the Astros have the edge in offense and in the bullpen since the Nationals were among the worst bullpens in all of baseball. But that’s why you play the game. This is by no means going to be an easy series for the Astros. The Astros will have to crack the rotation and get their offense back in gear.

Which brings us to the third reason why the Astros will have their legacy on the line.