Rendon made sure when Nats were down, they were never out

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Washington Nationals' Anthony Rendon loses his helmet as he strikes out during the fourth inning of Game 7 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

HOUSTON, TX – When the Washington Nationals were down, Anthony Rendon made sure they were never out.

He was Mr. Clutch all October.

Houston starter Zack Greinke was cruising with a one-hit shutout and a 2-0 lead in Game 7 of the World Series on Wednesday night. It would be glib to say that's exactly where Rendon and the Nats wanted to be, but the way their season turned out, why not?

Rendon stroked a changeup into the left-field Crawford Boxes for a solo home run with one out in the seventh inning, and Washington set off on its fifth, final and most famous comeback in an elimination game this year, a 6-2 victory over the Astros for its first title in the franchise's 51 seasons.

"We had nothing else to lose when people had written us off," Rendon said. "We were facing elimination games that people thought that we shouldn't have been there in the first place. So we just kept on fighting and happened to come out on top."

Rendon, a free-agent-to-be playing perhaps his final games for Washington, hit .276 (8 for 29) in the Series with two homers and eight RBIs.

The quiet third baseman hit when it mattered most: Rendon had three homers, three doubles and a walk from the sixth inning on in the Nationals' five elimination games.

"His swing is nearly flawless. His zone control is tremendous. His defense has been lights out," Astros manager AJ Hinch marveled. "I think because of his obscurity, a little bit behind the scenes. He's not on these We Play Loud games or these things. He's under the radar. And yet he's one of the most impressive superstars in our game."