Here are the six wackiest moments from Game 6:
Alex Bregman homers, carries his bat to first base
With two outs in the first inning, the Astros’ third baseman, the presumptive American League MVP, crushed a solo home run to left field off Strasburg that gave Houston a 2-1 lead. Rather than drop, or even flip, his bat at home plate, Bregman carried his lumber all the way to first base before fumbling an exchange with first base coach Don Kelly. The bat ended up in fair territory as Bregman jogged toward second base.
“He was trying to hand this bat off to his first base coach, and I’m sure his first base coach was like, ‘I’ve never had this happen to me,’ ” Fox analyst John Smoltz said on the broadcast.
“I just thought that was pretty tired,” Strasburg said when asked about Bregman’s antics.
Major League Baseball debuted a “We Play Loud” ad campaign at the start of the postseason that celebrated some of its young stars’ willingness to challenge the game’s various unwritten rules, including the proper way to act after hitting a home run, but Bregman’s bat carry crossed a line in the eyes of some former players.
“That’s asking to get someone hurt on your team,” former National Mike Morse tweeted.
After the game, Bregman apologized, saying he let his emotions get the best of him and “that’s not how I was raised to play the game.” Bregman has D.C. baseball ties: His grandfather, Washington lawyer and political insider Stan Bregman, convinced Bob Short to purchase the expansion Senators in the late 1960s.
Juan Soto homers, carries bat to first base
Soto apparently didn’t turn around to admire Bregman’s no-doubter for long, because he didn’t miss the Astros slugger’s arrival at first base.
“Since I saw that, what Bregman did in the first inning, I was like, ‘That looks pretty cool,’ ” Soto told MLB Network. “ 'I want to do that.’ ”
So Soto did, carrying his bat to first base coach Tim Bogar after taking Justin Verlander deep with a moonshot to right field in the fifth inning that broke a 2-2 tie.
Nationals Manager Dave Martinez didn’t appreciate Bregman’s or Soto’s actions.
“We didn’t like it,” Martinez said. “And the fact that Soto did it, I’ll be quite honest with you, I didn’t like it when he did it as well. It’s a conversation I’ll have with Juan. That’s not who we are.”
Bud Light guy from Game 5 stars in a commercial
Nationals fan Jeff Adams, who took a home run ball to the chest while managing not to spill the cans of Bud Light he held in both hands as he was returning to his seat in the second inning of Game 5 on Sunday, had a pretty good night.
Bud Light arranged to send him to Game 6, where he wore a T-shirt with an illustration of his heroic act and the words “Always Save The Beers.” Bud Light also aired a commercial featuring a replay of the moment during Tuesday’s broadcast. “Not all heroes wear capes,” the 15-second spot began. “Or gloves.”
Trea Turner gets called out for interference
With no outs, Yan Gomes on first and the Nationals leading 3-2 in the seventh, Turner tapped a ball in front of the mound. Astros reliever Brad Peacock fielded it and fired to first, but his throw led first baseman Yuli Gurriel’s glove into Turner’s path. As Turner hit first base, Gurriel’s glove hit Turner and fell off as the ball trickled into right field. Gomes and Turner advanced to third and second on the play.
But home plate umpire Sam Holbrook ruled Turner had interfered with Gurriel’s ability to catch Peacock’s throw. Turner was ruled out, and Gomes was returned to first. Martinez and Nationals fans, including D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser, were irate.
“Hey Alexa,” Bowser tweeted after the call. “Can a mayor fire an umpire?”
Turner was frustrated, too, and Fox’s microphones in the dugout caught him pointing at chief baseball officer Joe Torre, who was sitting nearby.
“He’s sitting with his head down trying not to look up,” Turner shouted as Holbrook and the umpiring crew donned headsets during a 10-minute delay that left everyone — from the players and fans at Minute Maid Park, to Fox’s broadcasters and those watching at home — thoroughly confused.
“Wait till you watch,” Martinez yelled at Holbrook from the dugout, suggesting the umpire would realize he made a bad call once he saw the replay. “Wait till you watch.”
Rendon told Fox’s Ken Rosenthal that he was “actually pretty happy about the delay” because he “got to sit down for a little while” before he went up to bat. After Adam Eaton popped out, a rested Rendon crushed a two-run homer to left to give the Nationals a 5-2 lead. Rendon added a two-run double in the ninth.
Dave Martinez gets ejected
“Davey was really out of control for a bit when he was yelling at Sam Holbrook,” Torre, who defended the interference call, said on Fox’s postgame show. “They went to the headset just to make sure that everything they were telling him was double-checked.”
Martinez evidently wasn’t satisfied with whatever explanation he received. During the seventh-inning stretch, he went after Holbrook again. Despite bench coach Chip Hale’s best efforts, Martinez did enough to get ejected while fans were in the middle of singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame."
Martinez became the first manager ejected in a World Series since Atlanta’s Bobby Cox was tossed in Game 6 in 1996 for arguing a close play at second base.
The road team wins again
This ridiculousness isn’t unique to Game 6, but it’s a remarkable aspect of Tuesday’s result nonetheless. The Nationals have now outscored the Astros 24-9 in three road games during this World Series after being outscored 19-3 in three games at home over the weekend. For the first time in 1,420 best-of-seven series across MLB, the NHL and the NBA, the road team has won the first six games. Game 7 is Wednesday in Houston. What sort of wackiness is in store?
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