Intentional walk away.

Juan Soto, in the on-deck circle and in the Astros heads.

You may have missed it in the onslaught of Nationals offense and Astros shaky defense in the seventh inning of Game 2. But the Astros did something they hadn’t done all season. 

They panicked.

They intentionally walked a batter. Not just any batter, it was Juan Soto, Washington’s twenty-year-old superstar outfielder.

If you go an entire season, an entire Division Series, an entire Championship Series and a game and two-thirds of a World Series without an intentional walk, that says something. It says your team doesn’t need to set up a double play to get out of an inning. It says your team won’t give in. It says you will get the other team out your own way.

It says you are better than everyone else. And, as cocky as that sounds, it worked for 114 wins up to that point.

But with two outs, the score just 3-2, and a runner on second, the Astros flinched. Just like that, the bully backed down. And Washington proceeded to score five more runs. 

Houston played scared. They went-off brand. They walked away from their persona of being the best team ever assembled in the history of forever. And they became average.

Now, they head into Game 3 down two games to none.

Worse yet, they head into Game 3 without their invincibility cloak.


Zack Greinke vs. Anibal Sanchez 
Game time: 7:07 on FOX