The wild-card Washington Nationals got RBIs from middle-of-the-order stars Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto in a seven-run first inning Tuesday night, and Patrick Corbin's 12-strikeout performance plus a trio of relievers helped hold on to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-4 in Game 4 to complete a sweep in the NLCS.
The last time the World Series came to the nation's capital, more than eight decades ago, the Washington Senators lost to the New York Giants in five games. Have to go even further back, to 1924, for the city's lone baseball championship, when the Senators defeated the Giants.
The Senators eventually left, and the town didn't have a major league team at all for more than three decades until the Montreal Expos - who were founded in 1969 and never made it to the World Series - moved to Washington in 2005.
Corbin, a left-handed pitcher signed with $140 million of the money that became available last offseason when Bryce Harper left town to join the Philadelphia Phillies, was not quite the equal of Washington's other starters in the series.
Still, he did become the first pitcher to strike out 10 batters in the first four innings of a postseason game and earned the win after allowing four runs in five innings.
Then Martinez turned to his NL-worst bullpen, such a problem for so much of this season.
After Tanner Rainey got three outs, and Doolittle got five, Hudson came in for his fourth save in four chances this postseason. It wasn't easy, though: After replacing Doolittle with two outs in the eighth, Hudson hit his first batter and walked his second, bringing pinch-hitter Matt Carpenter to the plate as the go-ahead run with the bases loaded.
Carpenter, a career .481 batter with the bases full, grounded out to second baseman Brian Dozier, a defensive replacement who briefly lost the ball before gathering it and throwing to first to end that inning.
Hudson finished things with a perfect ninth, getting Tommy Edman on a fly ball to center field to end it, and red fireworks went off around the stadium.
In the fifth, a juggled Cardinals lineup finally awoke, scoring three runs - one more than the team managed to produce in Games 1-3 combined - to get within 7-4.
With a man on second and the tying run in the on-deck circle, Corbin came through, striking out St. Louis' 3-4 hitters, Paul Goldschmidt and Marcell Ozuna, with sliders.
The Nationals will play Games 1 and 2 of the World Series at the AL team's stadium because both the Astros (107) and Yankees (103) won more games than Washington's 93 in the regular season. Games 3, 4 and, if necessary, 5 will be at Nationals Park. Washington did not face either Houston or the Yankees in interleague play in 2019.