They were 19-31 on May 24th. Exactly 10 games back in the National League East. I didn’t have them making the Postseason before the season started, but I figured they were good enough to finish 2nd in a tough division.
Low and behold they finished the season with 93 wins and clinched the top spot in the Wild Card. They came from behind to beat the Milwaukee Brewers in that game. They were down 2-1 in the Division Series against the Dodgers and ended up winning that series. They easily swept the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS, but had a true test in the World Series against the Houston Astros.
Rightfully so Stephen Strasburg was named the World Series MVP. He started Game 2 and 6 and was the winning pitcher for both games. He struck out 14 Astros and walked only 3 in those games. He nearly had a complete game in Game 6 which is remarkable considering he gave up two runs in the first inning of that game.
Almost every hitter had a big hit in this series. Adam Eaton and Juan Soto both batted over .300 in the 7-game series. Anthony Rendon led the team with 8 RBI and two huge home runs that came in Game 6 and 7 respectively.
The hero from the NLDS and NLCS MVP Howie Kendrick returned in Game 7 with his go-ahead two run home run off Astros reliever Will Harris.
Lest we forget that it wasn’t just Strasburg who was spectacular on the mound. Max Scherzer gutted it out in Game 7 after being scratched for Game 5. Patrick Corbin came on in relief for Game 7 and was masterful in keeping the Astros hitters at bay.
If you didn’t see a single game of this World Series for a reason pertaining to ‘it’s not the Yankees or a team I care about,’ you should be regretting that.
You’ll probably never again see a pair of teams only win their games on the road for an entire series. One team that was the quintessential favorite for the entire year get beat for two consecutive games at home in heart breaking fashion.
Congratulations to the Washington Nationals for winning their first World Series in franchise history. Part of this goes to that 1994 Montreal Expos team that should have had a chance to play for the World Series if not for the strike.