Juan Soto is already one of the best hitters in baseball, and this season has become an expert at locker room celebrations. But after four such celebrations with the Washington Nationals already in 2019, Soto can finally, legally celebrate properly with champagne as a World Series champion.
Soto was 2-for-3 with a walk in Wednesday’s Game 7 win for the Nationals. He walked and scored on Howie Kendrick’s two-run home run in the seventh inning, then drove home Adam Eaton with an RBI single in the eighth. Soto hit .333/.438/.741 with three home runs, two doubles, seven RBI and six runs scored in the Fall Classic.
Soto reached base in all seven World Series games, and was kept off the bases in just one of his 17 postseason games. He also figured mightily in several Nationals wins.
Down by two runs in the eighth inning of the wild card game, Soto hit a two-run single to tie the game, with the winning run scoring on an error. In the NLDS, Soto homered off Clayton Kershaw in the eighth inning of Game 5 to tie the score, then was intentionally walked in the 10th inning before Kendrick’s grand slam.
When he celebrated in each of the Nationals’ previous triumphs — clinching a wild card spot, winning the wild card game, beating the 106-win Dodgers in the NLDS, and sweeping the NLCS — Soto wasn’t yet 21, and celebrated with sparkling grape cider, officially.
Now he can get into the real stuff, after Soto hit .277/.373/.554 with five home runs and 14 RBI in 17 games this October.
In Game 1 of this series against the Astros, Soto homered and hit a two-run double, the former making him just the fourth player to hit a World Series home run prior to his 21st birthday. He turned 21 the day of Game 3, then homered in both Games 5 and 6, too.
That means this World Series saw home runs by a 20-year-old (Soto), a 21-year-old (Soto), and a 22-year-old (Yordan Alvarez). Let the kids play, indeed.
Soto and the Nationals beat the Astros in Game 7 on the road, completing the first World Series in history with zero home victories. Washington won their final eight road games of the postseason, and will now get to celebrate all offseason, wherever the hell they want.