The Washington Nationals did something during their 5-4 victory in Game 1 of the World Series that no other team had done during the postseason.
They scored multiple runs against Houston Astros starter Gerrit Cole.
After falling behind on Yuli Gurriel’s first-inning two-run double, the Nationals played long ball against Cole as franchise stalwart Ryan Zimmerman and 20-year-old phenom Juan Soto unloaded monstrous solo home runs to tie the game and make both franchise and MLB history. And in Soto’s case, it also made hitting coach Kevin Long look like Nostradamus.
Imagine owning the world at age 20. https://t.co/Pak9VT7fi2
— Yahoo Sports MLB (@MLByahoosports) October 23, 2019
Historic home runs
Zimmerman’s blast was a fitting way for Washington to open its first-ever World Series game. After the franchise moved to Washington in 2005, Zimmerman was the first player they officially drafted. He’s remained with the franchise ever since.
Ryan Zimmerman has been in the Nationals franchise for 5,250 days and just hit their first-ever #WorldSeries home run. That is all kinds of cool.
— Anthony Castrovince (@castrovince) October 23, 2019
Zimmerman, 35, has appeared in 1,689 games for Washington during his career. In fact, he’s been with Washington almost as long as Juan Soto’s been alive. The age difference is notable because when Soto went deep in the fourth inning, he helped the Nationals make history.
— Stats By STATS (@StatsBySTATS) October 23, 2019
That’s an amazing stat that encompasses the unique but effective structure of Washington’s lineup. They have youth. They have experience. Most of all, they have the ability to produce against any pitcher in baseball.
Nationals hitting coach predicted Soto’s home run
The Nationals offense also has confidence. That’s passed down from hitting coach Kevin Long, who according to the Fox Sports broadcast predicted Soto would hit a home run in Game 1.
Nats hitting coach Kevin Long yesterday guaranteed Juan Soto would hit a HR off a high fastball from Gerrit Cole. “I guarantee you.” Wow. pic.twitter.com/Qx7tElb0hw
— Rudy Gersten (@DCBarno) October 23, 2019
Not only did Long predict the home run, he predicted the exact type of a pitch — a high fastball from Gerrit Cole.
Soto got the pitch and then sent it over the train tracks in LEFT FIELD.
— Cut4 (@Cut4) October 23, 2019
That is epic power from one of the youngest players in the game.
Soto would later add a two-run double during Washington’s three-run fifth inning. He’s been a driving force for the offense all season and that has continued on MLB’s biggest stage.
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