Summer 2024

Nationals slugger Anthony Rendon's 5 RBIs help force World Series Game 7

The Washington Nationals were holding on to a 3-2 lead in the seventh inning Tuesday night when things got heated in Game 6 of the World Series. Nationals shortstop Trea Turner hit a slow roller that Houston Astros pitcher Will Harris fired to first. But as first baseman Yuli Gurriel stretched to catch the ball, Turner hit Gurriel’s glove and was called out for interference. A long delay ensued as the Nationals protested the call, but the call stood.

>> Subscribe to Sports Spectrum Magazine for more stories where sports and faith connect <<

Two batters later, Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon crushed a two-run home run that pushed the lead to 5-2.

Rendon began the game with a first-inning RBI single, and then capped his night with two-run double in the ninth. He finished with five RBIs as the Nationals won by five runs, 7-2.

It marks the first time in history that the visiting team has won each of the first six games in the World Series. Game 7 will take place Wednesday night in Houston. If the visiting team wins again, Washington would claim its first World Series. If the Astros can clinch at home, they’d take their second championship in three years.

The Nationals certainly wouldn’t be in this situation without the 29-year-old Rendon. He was their best hitter all regular season, posting career-highs in batting average (.319), on-base percentage (.412), home runs (34), RBIs (MLB-leading 126), hits (174) and runs (117) — all of which led his team — as he earned his first All-Star appearance. In the postseason, Rendon is still leading his team in average (.339), OBP (.429), RBIs (14) and hits (19).

A leading candidate for the World Series MVP award, Rendon could claim a championship in his hometown — though with the “wrong” team. He was born and raised in Houston, and drafted by Washington out of Houston’s Rice University as the No. 6 overall pick in the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft.

As he’s joined the MLB elite, Rendon has strived to keep his relationship with God at the forefront. In 2017, he stepped up to raise money for his hometown following Hurricane Harvey, saying, “It is truly amazing watching the body of Christ come alive.”

Last year, Rendon expressed one of his main goals in life when speaking with Houston-based pastor Gregg Matte.

“I want to be known as a Christian baseball player and I’m still trying to grow into that,” Rendon said. “But in the end, I want to be more Christian than baseball player … If I just try to stay in the Word and try to surround myself with good people and have good community, I think that will just guide me on that path.”

Many baseball fans will be curious to see where Rendon’s path leads him next year. He will be a sought-after free agent after the season ends.

Nationals’ Anthony Rendon wants to be ‘more Christian than baseball player’
Rising star Juan Soto praises God while leading Washington Nationals in World Series
Nationals’ Anthony Rendon playing for the Lord, quietly having MVP-caliber season
Nationals pitcher Aaron Barrett left off playoff roster but throws ceremonial first pitch
Nationals second baseman Brian Dozier plays for Christ in third straight postseason