Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg Help Push The Nationals To A Title
After years of playoff disappointment despite immense expectations, the Washington Nationals ran through the playoffs becoming 2019 World Series victors over the favorite Houston Astros. All after letting superstar Bryce Harper walk to Philadelphia and suffering a horrifying 19-31 start to the regular season.
MLB and Shout Factory present the 2019 World Series Champions: Washington Nationals documentary. Narrated by Craig Melvin, anchor of NBC’s TODAY, all seven games of their World Series victory are recounted with insights from a slew of current Astros and Nationals. Made for baseball fans, almost everything important is covered.
Talking heads include Max Scherzer, Sean Doolittle, Alex Bregman, Juan Soto, George Springer, Ryan Zimmerman, Dave Martinez and others as they discuss pivotal moments, key plays and reflections on what happened. Exclusive footage behind the scenes takes us inside the dugout and in the clubhouse. Understandable but somewhat disappointing, Cy Young award winner Justin Verlander is not interviewed.
… a richly satisfying documentary for Washington Nationals’ fans
… a richly satisfying documentary for Washington Nationals’ fans
The Nationals may have had the worst bullpen in recent memory of any playoff team. That didn’t matter as their rotation starred Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, and Patrick Corbin. They even overcame the loss of Max Scherzer’s scheduled start in game five, when he awoke with back spasms that pushed him back to game seven.
The 2019 World Series will be remembered by many as the first time the home team lost every game in a seven-game series. Fortunately for the Nationals, they didn’t have home-field advantage and beat the Astros in a tight game seven at Houston. Led by clutch home-runs from Howie Kendrick and Anthony Rendon, not to mention World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg’s superb pitching performance, fans in D.C. will always remember where they were when the team clinched its first championship.
Each game is covered with extensive broadcast footage, running through major highlights and critical turning points. Melvin sets up each game with a narrative, from Gerrit Cole’s dominance to the emergence of 20-year-old superstar Juan Soto coming through in the clutch. It’s a richly satisfying documentary for Washington Nationals’ fans and casual baseball followers. Acting as a memento for the biggest moment in the franchise’s existence, it does a fine job building up to the final out of game seven. Houston fans are likely to be happier with the 2017 World Series documentary.
The 1.78:1 presentation has excellent clarity at its interlaced 1080i resolution. The entire documentary runs over 94 minutes, encoded in transparently flawless AVC on a BD-50. The game footage here for the World Series looks better than it ever did on Fox’s HD broadcast, including side angles I don’t remember seeing over the air. Talking head interviews are simple studio interviews, presented in sharp HD video with depth and dimension.
Baseball fans should be familiar with the documentary’s overall picture quality – much of it is World Series broadcast video from Fox. This is glossy, high-contrast HD content made for sport fans, showing off detail and color. There are a few stray shots from inferior cameras or lesser source material, but overall there’s a pleasing uniformity. While this isn’t videophile quality material, the 2019 World Series documentary falls right in line with prior MLB video releases on Blu-ray.
The 2019 World Series Champions: Washington Nationals documentary comes with a robust 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack. Narrated by Craig Melvin, anchor of NBC’s TODAY, sound quality fares better than expected for a live sporting event.
Cleanly intelligible dialogue and a spacious soundstage with real depth and thunder create dramatic impact for pivotal World Series moments. Rear support is more ambient crowd noise than intricately mixed audio cues, though channels have nice separation and choice discrete moments. Listen as tens of thousands of home fans go silent when Howie Kendrick blasts the go-ahead home-run in game seven.
Optional English SDH subtitles play in a white font.
The two-disc combo set duplicates the documentary and special features on the included DVD.
If you want actual game broadcasts for the World Series that aired on Fox completely unedited, Shout Factory’s companion eight-disc 2019 World Series Collector’s Edition: Washington Nationals is the release you want. This documentary-only release has a few bonus features that are relatively short and on the light side.
The disc is made with Nationals’ fans in mind for purchase – there isn’t anything here for fans of the Astros. Regular MLB Network viewers will recognize their usual approach to highlights and clip reels in these supplements.
It should be noted the disc opens with a series of short promotional trailers, including ones for MLB Tonight, the Play Ball Initiative, and other MLB-related spots. Remember that commercial from Budweiser starring Charlize Theron which played repeatedly on Fox during the playoffs? It’s also included for some reason.
Young Stars: Juan Soto (02:39 in HD) – A short promotional clip highlighting the Nationals’ young superstar.
Regular Season Highlights (09:29 in HD) – Game broadcast clips from the Nationals’ 2019 season using their home MASN announcers. Highlights include the time they hit four consecutive homers against the Padres, Trea Turner hitting for the cycle, Scherzer’s broken nose game, the team’s amazing comeback against the Mets, and others.
How They Got There (05:53 in HD) – Footage from the Nationals’ season and a recap of their regular season.
Clinching Moments (08:02 in HD) – Footage of the Nationals clinching each round of the playoffs with their final out of the game.
World Series Parade (02:41 in HD) – Easily the biggest disappointment on the disc. As a DC area local, the parade for the Nationals was an all-day affair covered extensively by all four major networks. This is little more than a token selection of short clips from the parade.
Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.
2019 World Series Champions
A fine documentary for Nationals’ fans that want to experience their 2019 World Series victory again through game clips and behind-the-scenes coverage.
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