Can You Believe it? Nats Win the World Series
On October 24th, the Washington Nationals found themselves on the eve of Game 3 of the World Series, leading two games to nil after having knocked around the games best pitchers in Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander.
But after three straight losses in the Nations Capital, the Nationals rallied to take Game 6, then eventually steal Game 7 from the Astros in Houston’s home park and win their first ever World Series Championship. What an amazing run for a team that at one point on the season were 19-31.
There were three teams that entered the 2019 postseason that had yet to win a World Title, the Tampa Rays, Milwaukee Brewers and the Nats. Neither three were heavy favorites, but this author felt that this would be the season that a new team would win the biggest game in the MLB after the St. Louis Blues of the NHL and the Toronto Raptors of the NBA, won their first title of their respective leagues in 2019, so why not one of the three MLB teams above. Well I never figured the Nationals would be that team, but for the baseball world and Washington, its an amazing feat.
A Quick Look on the 2019 Season
On April 30th, the Nats were 12-16, 4th in the NL East, and by the end of May, they were 24-33, and same position in the standings after going 12-17, nearly identical to the first month of the season.
Close to mid-season, the Nats started their turn around, finishing the month at 42-41, in third place, streaking through the month to a tune of 18-8.
By the trade deadline in July, the Nats leapfrogged the Philadelphia Phillies into second place behind the Atlanta Braves, after winning 15 of the 25 games they played in the month, finishing at 57-51.
Down the stretch, the Nationals continued their hot baseball, winning 19 games in August, against just seven losses (76-58) and even though they couldn’t put much of a dent into the Braves lead, Washington still held a 3.5 game lead in the Wild Card standings.
As the end of the season rolled around, the Nationals finished the campaign at 93-69, winners of one of the Wild Card spots, after putting up a 17-11 September, preparing them for a one-game Wild Card playoff battle.
In the Wild Card game, the Nats battled back from an early 3-0 deficit against the Milwaukee Brewers, and advanced to the NLDS with a stunning 4-3 victory.
Next up in the National League Division Series were the heavily favored Los Angeles Dodgers and after going down to a 2-1 deficit in a best of five game series, Washington won Games 4 and 5, with five being played in LA to advance to the NLCS.
An unlikely journey through the postseason would get even better for the Nats as they defeated the odds and took care of the St. Louis Cardinals, who themselves battled through a tough five-game series against the Braves. But no one could predict that the Nationals would sweep right past the Cards and into their first ever World Series appearance.
Next up, the Houston Astros, with two of the best pitchers in all of baseball, but this has to be the Cinderella season, the one team no one expected, should win it all and why not, makes a great story for 2019.
So up two games to nothing against a Houston team that does not quit, the Nationals showed that they had what it took to overcome a huge rally by the Astros, taking a 3-2 game lead, only to prevail with wins in Game 6 and 7 and win the title.
For a city that is at the center of the world, for one night, baseball became the main attraction in the Capital of the United States, as the Nationals made their own history.