There was a time when the Washington Nationals, after losing their brightest star, seemed destined for the bottom of the standings. But before season ticket holders could call country clubs to schedule tee times in October, the tide turned and the Nationals climbed out of their hole and fought back into the postseason.
After defeating the Milwaukee Brewers in the Wild Card game thanks to some late-game heroics by their twenty-year-old phenom Juan Soto, the Nats took on the World Series favorites, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Nationals, who looked outmatched in every category, took the series to the maximum five games and then shocked the world. In the 11th inning, with the bases loaded, former Dodger Howie Kendrick parked a Joe Kelly pitch to dead center giving the Nationals a lead they wouldn’t give up.
To say the moment was historic is an understatement. The Nationals had done something they haven’t done ever. They made it out of the first round.
And now they’ve done something they haven’t done since 1933. A World Series will be played in the Nation’s Capital for the first time since FDR was president.
How To Sweep An NLCS
The Cardinals brought forth a different kind of challenge for the Nationals. In a way, the matchups seemed identical, both teams filled with young stars, and hot bats. However, where St. Louis lacked experience, Washington had it in spades.
The Nationals pitching showed up from Game 1 onward, with success coming in the most surprising and unsurprising places. Game 1 saw vintage Anibal Sanchez toss a gem of a game, holding the Cardinals to one-hit over his 7.2 innings.
The next two games were thrown by the Nationals de facto Aces, Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg, who were as advertised. Any team in the league would be happy to have one of these guys, but two? ON THE SAME TEAM? That’s simply unfair.
The fourth and most important game was started by Patrick Corbin, the biggest offseason acquisition for the Nats. After getting through the first inning unscathed, the Nationals offense took over. After batting around and scoring 7 runs in the first, they had all the runs they would need.
Finish The Fight
No one thought they’d get this far, maybe it’s time we all start believing in their ability to shock the world.
For the first time in franchise history, the Washington Nationals have won the National League Pennant!
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