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The Nationals entered last night's game as the biggest World Series underdog in more than a decade. They'll wake up this morning in full control after handing Astros ace Gerrit Cole his first loss since May.

What's next: The Nationals will send Stephen Strasburg to the mound in Game 2 tonight, while the Astros will counter with Justin Verlander.

Game notes:

  • MVP: Juan Soto, who will be able to legally buy a drink for the first time on Friday, went 3-for-4 with a homer and 3 RBI. At 20 years and 362 days old, he's the 4th-youngest player to hit a World Series dinger, trailing Andruw Jones, Miguel Cabrera and Mickey Mantle.
  • Fun fact: The Nationals are the first team in National League history to win 5 consecutive road games in a single postseason.
  • Good news for Nats fans: The team that wins Game 1 of the World Series has gone on to win it all 64% of the time, per ESPN.
  • Good news for Astros fans: Max Scherzer threw 112 pitches in 5 innings and the Nats' bullpen wasn't great, which isn't sustainable. Also, you had your chances (11 runners left on base) and missed a tying HR by about a foot.

Go deeper: Soto "committed to Washington in a rancid batting cage in Florida when he was 16. Four years later, the slugging outfielder was batting cleanup in Game 1 of the World Series — and dominating." (New York Times)

Go deeper

Movie theaters go out of style

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Vaccination rates are going up, people are going out to restaurants again — although the new COVID variant may get in the way — but they still aren't rushing back to the movies.

By the numbers: Some 49% of pre-pandemic moviegoers are no longer hitting theaters, according to a study from the film research company The Quorum, as reported by the New York Times.

2 hours ago - Health

Vaccine mandates lose steam in the U.S. while Europe doubles down

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

European countries are doubling down on pressure campaigns to get people vaccinated just as Republicans continue to wage war — often successfully — against vaccine mandates in the U.S.

Why it matters: The starkly different approaches create a sharp contrast between the regions' approaches to vaccination, even as the Omicron variant rapidly spreads around the world.

3 hours ago - World

Two years of COVID-19

Expand chart
Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Axios Visuals

Two years ago Wednesday, the first case of a mysterious new respiratory disease was discovered in Wuhan, China. Now, the Omicron variant has deepened concerns about just how much longer the coronavirus pandemic will last.

The big picture: More than 5 million people have died since that first case. Most people on earth have lived through some form of lockdown. 54% of the global population has had at least one vaccination, though the shots have been distributed unevenly.