Timeline of the 2019 World Series Champion Washington Nationals

It’s easy to boil down the Nats improbable season into one or two big things, but those of us that watch all year know its the hundreds of little things that define the season. So here’s a list of a whole bunch of little things, a timeline of the Nats 2019 World Series championship season. Hopefully this will help you remember where you were.

January

  • Jan 1 – Nats sign Brian Dozier to be their starting 2B. He’ll hit .080/.115/.080 in his first week and .248/.353/.453 the rest of the way.

February

  • Feb 6 – Nats re-sign Jeremy Hellickson, to be their 5th starter. He will throw 39 innings for them.
  • Feb 13 – Pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training; Nats trade Trevor Gott to the Giants.
  • Feb 14 – Davey is quoted as saying he wants his players to “Focus on the present day.” But the other theme of 2019 spring training will be fundamentals, unlike the previous season. And he says he won’t bring any camels.
  • Feb 18 – Juan Soto arrives in camp for his first Major League spring training; Davey tells him and Victor Robles to focus on defense and baserunning, because the offense will be there.
  • Feb 23 – Nats play their first Spring Training game – the opponent: The Houston Astros. Down 5-6 in the 8th, Nats tie it, then walk it off in the 9th, 7-6. A comeback to start it all.
  • Feb 26 – Trevor Rosenthal makes his Nats Spring Training debut, reporters gush about the reliever in his return from Tommy John surgery, who is hitting 100 mph. And then what happened?
  • Feb 28 – Phillies sign Bryce Harper to an 11-year, $330M contract, which will be the biggest deal in MLB history for 20 days. Nats fans try to convince themselves that the team will be better without him, and that he was not loved in the clubhouse.

March

  • Mar 5 – Howie Kendrick hurts his hamstring, keeping him out for another month and delaying his return from a devastating Achilles injury.
  • Mar 9 – Awash in lefty relievers, the Nats release Sammy Solis and his $850k salary. He’ll get signed to a minor league deal by the Padres, and end up pitching a few innings for the NPB’s Yokohama club.
  • Mar 13 – Nats sign Tony Sipp, the man who’s going to be their lefty specialist, to defeat Bryce and Freddie Freeman in the regular season, and the Dodgers in the playoffs.
  • Mar 15 – Michael A Taylor sprains his knee, making the Nats realize that if he’s hurt, Andrew Stevenson will become their fourth outfielder. They begin to consider other options. [Jaws theme]
  • Mar 18 – White Sox pitcher Dane Dunning undergoes Tommy John surgery, and Nats fans congratulate themselves for winning the Adam Eaton trade, because Lucas Giolito is and will probably forever be a rubbish starting pitcher.
  • Mar 27 – Nats wrap up their Spring Training, with serious questions about their new 7th inning and 8th inning pitchers. Rosenthal has walked 7 in 8.2 IP, and Barraclough has walked 5 and gave up 3 HRs in the same amount of innings.
  • Mar 28 – Nats season begins, a 2-0 loss to the Mets. Andrew Steveson and Jake Noll make the Opening Day roster thanks to injuries to Taylor and Kendrick. (0-1)
  • Mar 30 – Trevor Rosenthal makes his Nats debut, in the 8th inning of a 4-4 game. He faces 4 batters, doesn’t get any of them out. (0-2)
  • Mar 31 – Nats win their first game of the year, on a Trea Turner walk off HR against the Mets, but not before Tony Sipp, Trevor Rosenthal, and Sean Doolittle combine to give up a 3 run lead in the 8th (1-2)

April

  • Apr 2 – Scherzer vs Harper in Bryce’s first game back. Nats roll a tribute video. Fans boo Harper lustily in his first at bat, in which Scherzer strikes him out. Outside of the inconsequential stuff, Trea Turner bunts a ball off his right finger, which will end up broken. He won’t return until May 17. Nats lose 2-8. (1-3)
  • Apr 3 – Nats win their 2nd game of the season on a Jake Noll walkoff. (2-3)
  • Apr 6 – Howie Kendrick pinch hits, making his first MLB appearance since rupturing his Achilles May 19, 2018. Justin Miller takes over as setup man for the unusable Rosenthal, in a 5-3 game. He gives up two solo HRs to Alonso and Cano. Sipp then comes on, loads the bases, and gives up another run. Final: Nats 5, Mets 6 (3-4)
  • Apr 7 – Nats go up on the Mets 12-1, and bring Rosenthal in to what is a very safe spot. He can’t get anyone out, Joe Ross has issues in the 9th, but Doolittle finally gets the save in a 3-run victory (4-4)
  • Apr 9 – Strasburg has a poor start in Philly, but the Nats rally from down 6-1. Their bullpen comes through in Philly, and Victor Robles hits a 2 out 9th inning HR to make the game 6-6. In the 10th, Juan Soto hits a 3 run homer. Nats win. Cabbage gets shredded in the clubhouse, for some reason. Man, if this happens more often, I feel like these hitters will think they can overcome any deficit (5-5)
  • Apr 10 – Trevor Rosenthal pitches the 9th inning against the Phillies with a 15-0 lead, and he gets his first out of the season. He gets 2 more (and gives up a run), but everyone starts saying maybe he’ll be ok after all. The Nats scored 25 in the last 2 games, won 4 out of 6 in NY and Philly, and are 1 game behind. They look to be back on track. (6-5)
  • Apr 12 – Nats take a 7 IP, 2-1 game from Patrick Corbin and lose it 6-3. Sipp and Barraclaugh give the Pirates the lead in the 8th, Rendon ties it in the 9th, Justin Miller gives up 3 runs in the 10th and goes on the IL with a lower back strain (6-6)
  • Apr 13 – Comeback. Cabbage (7-6)
  • Apr 20 – Anthony Rendon enters the game with a 17 game hitting streak. He doesn’t get a hit, but he does get hit on his elbow by a pitch. X-Rays are negative so he won’t go on the IL… yet. Nats lose (9-10)
  • Apr 21 – Nats beat Miami on an 8 IP, 2 H, 11 K performance from Strasburg, bringing them back to .500 on the season. This will be the high water mark for just over two months (10-10)
  • Apr 24 – Rosenthal pitches for the first time in a week and gives up 3 ER. And 3 wild pitches. (11-12)
  • Apr 26 – Rendon starts for the first time in a week. He won’t play again for another week and a half.  Carter Kieboom debuts at SS, Max Scherzer gets his 2500th career K, 35th ever to do it. Rosenthal goes on the 10-day IL with a “viral infection.” (11-13)
  • Apr 28 – Ryan Zimmerman goes on the 10-day IL with a foot injury. Nats walk off Padres in the 11th on a Matt Adams HR .(12-14)
  • Apr 30 – Nats place Anthony Rendon on the 10-day IL, and they lose to St Louis. (12-16)

May

  • May 2 – Strasburg dominates, Doolittle gets the save, and the Nats beat the Cardinals 2-1. But they finish the night by firing their pitching coach, Derek Liliquist. They promote Paul Menhardt, not a minor league pitching coach, but more of an internal pitching guru who helps out where he is needed. Was about to head to West Palm to work with Rosenthal. Was needed in DC. (13-17)
  • May 3 – Jeremy Hellickson strikes out 9 in 5 1/3 at Philly, but Dan Jennings comes in to relieve and gives up a 3 run HR. Nats lose 4-2, although Justin Miller had 2 scoreless at the end to give them a shot. Yes, those 3 guys are really all on the team in May 2019. (13-18)
  • May 4 – After missing a few days with a strained back, Juan Soto is placed on the 10-day DL. Nats come back late against the Phillies in part thanks to a game-tying 3 run HR by Kurt Suzuki. There is cabbage. (14-18)
  • May 7 – Carter Kieboom is sent down to AAA, while Rendon is activated from the IL. The day prior their numbers 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 hitters from the Opening Day lineup were on the IL. And they had been stuck on the tarmac trying to leave Philly for 8 hours. Anyway, they lose. (14-21)
  • May 8 – Nats look bad, I join the chorus of people calling for a new manager. “Is Davey really going to be able to get them much better than .500 once everyone’s back?” They lose their 4th in a row. (14-22)
  • May 9 – Nats place Andrew Stevenson on the 10-day IL, and sign Gerardo Parra in a desperate attempt to have 5 warm bodies willing to play the outfield. Martinez says “he’s a great clubhouse guy.” Parra says the Nats need to “try to relax… Just play hard, play happy and see what happens.” This seems prescient. Corbin throws a gem in LA. (15-23)
  • May 11 – Juan Soto is activated from the 10-day IL, Jake Noll is optioned to AAA. Nats win 5-2 thanks to a strong start from Scherzer, and a 5 run 8th thanks to an RBI single from Juan Soto followed by a grand slam from Parra. (16-23)
  • May 17 – Nats activate Trea Turner from the IL, but place Anibal Sanchez on it with a hamstring strain. Wilmer Difo is optioned and Kyle McGowin is called up. Barraclaugh and Matt Grace each give up 2 HRs, Nats lose to the Cubs 14-6. (18-26)
  • May 18 – Nats place Justin Miller on the IL and call up Tanner Rainey. Miller will not return in 2019, while Rainey will be one of their best relievers. They win. (19-26)
  • May 20 – Nats DFA Dan Jennings, call up Tony Sipp, and claim Javy Guerra off waivers, who will replace Hellickson when he goes on the IL the next day. And they lose to the Mets. Rainey makes his Nats debut, throwing a scoreless 6th. Eaton and Todd Frazier start jawing and need to be separated. Later there will be comments about mortgages. (19-28)
  • May 22 – Nats hold a team meeting. They talk about sticking together and getting through their slump together, not as individuals. Barraclaugh gets 2 outs and puts 2 on with a 1-0 lead in the 8th before being relieved by Doolittle. Mets score 6 in the inning and win. After a team meeting, no less! (19-30)
  • May 23 – Davey gets ejected and the Nats lose to the Mets, finishing up a 4 game sweep, to go 12 games under .500. No team has ever started this poorly in their first 50 games and won the World Series, only one has ever even made the playoffs. (19-31)
  • May 24 – The Marlins, the cure for what ails a baseball team, visit DC. Down 8-4, the Nats come back and win 12-10. Including this game, they’ll win 11 of their next 14. (20-31)
  • May 26 – Nats beat Miami for the third day in a row, the first time they’ve won 3 in a row this season. 53 games in. Not great. (22-31)

June

  • June 1 – Parra goes 3 for 4, bringing his OPS up to 1.045 since his first game with the Nats on May 10. As they sank to their low point, he was showing them how to play loose and succeed. The lineup is getting pretty healthy again, too. (25-33)
  • June 8 – Trevor Rosenthal is activated off the DL. The Nats have their setup man back. Dozier gets his 1000th career hit. Scherzer is great in 7 innings, Rainey looks impressive in the 8th, Nats beat Padres 4-1 (29-35)
  • June 9 – It’s a 1-1 tie in the 8th until the Nats go back-to-back-to-back-to-back with Kendrick, Turner, Eaton, and Rendon all homering off of former National Craig Stammen. Nats beat Padres (30-35)
  • June 16 – After another rough outing, this one involving a 3-run HR, Kyle Barraclough is placed on the 10-day IL with “radial nerve irritation.” He’ll make one more relief appearance for them in 2019. Stras might be tipping his pitches today, as he gives up 4 solo HRs to Arizona (33-38)
  • June 18 – Max Scherzer breaks his nose during batting practice, attempting to bunt. For the second day in a row, the series start with Phillies gets postponed due to rain. Doubleheader tomorrow and a five game series over 4 days in September. Could be important
  • June 19 – Max Scherzer pitches the nightcap of a doubleheader, a little over 24 hours after breaking his nose. He throws 7 scoreless innings with 10 Ks, a broken nose, and a black eye to complete the sweep of the day. Oh yeah, and Gerardo Parra starts the first game of doubleheader at CF. He has brand new walkup music, Baby Shark. He goes 2 for 4 with a HR and a RBI double. (35-38)
  • June 21 – After sweeping the Phillies, the Nats take the series opener from the Braves. Rosenthal pitches an impressive and scoreless 8th inning in a 4-3 Nats win. They’ve won 18 of their last 25 and are one game below .500 again. (37-38)
  • June 22 – Nats lead 8-4 in the 7th, and turn to Rosenthal again. He walks the bases loaded on just 15 pitches. Nats lose 9-13. (37-39)
  • June 23 – Trevor Rosenthal is released by the Nationals. They lose to the Braves in 10. (37-40)
  • June 25 – Nats call up 42 year old Fernando Rodney, as well as Johnny Venters, to help solidify their bullpen. Rodney pitches a scoreless 9th in a 6-1 victory over Miami (38-40)
  • June 27 – Nats are .500 again for the first time since April 23 when they were 11-11. They won’t be below that mark again for the rest of the season. Have gone 21-9 over their last 30. (40-40)
  • June 28 – Nats recall Ryan Zimmerman from the IL, in time for a game at Detroit, where he plays DH. Sanchez goes 6, strikes out 8, Nats win 3-1. Michael A Taylor is optioned to AA. (41-40)
  • June 30 – Max Scherzer strikes out 14, NBD. He and Anthony Rendon are named to the All Star team. (42-41)

July

  • July 2 – Patrick Corbin starts, and wears #45 in honor of his good friend Tyler Skaggs, who died the day before. Nats won 3-2 on a walkoff after an impressive 7 IP, 1 R game from Corbin, who was emotional after the game, saying “He’s just all I’m thinking about.” (43-41)
  • July 3 – Strasburg gets 14 Ks in 7 1/3, Nats win, Dozier and Adams homer to help them win 3-1. Oh, and the win puts them in the second Wild Card spot. (44-41)
  • July 7 – Nats beat Royals, Corbin Ks 11, Rodney and Doolittle give up 2 runs, and the lead, in the 8th, Nats win anyway. That’s Nats have been red hot, going on a 28-11 stretch on the way to the All Star break. (47-42)
  • July 13 – Max Scherzer is placed on the 10-day IL with a sore back. Juan Soto hits a 2-out, 2-run HR in the 9th in Philly to come back and win 4-3. In their last 41 games they’ve gone 30-11, their best stretch in team history. (49-42)
  • July 18 – Nats begin a 4 game series at Atlanta, 6 ½ games back. Strasburg homers, and dances in the dugout. “To be honest, it was pretty nervewracking” says the ace (abot the dancing). He has 5 RBI, and the Nats win. (51-44)
  • July 21 – Nats lose, finish the weekend 6 ½ out of first, just like when they came to Atlanta. Zimmerman has issues with plantar fasciitis again, and is gonna get an MRI. He won’t play for the Nats again until September. (52-46)
  • July 23 – Trea Turner hits for the cycle, making him the 26th player in MLB history to have more than one cycle. Nats beat the Rockies 11-1. (53-46)
  • July 29 – Max Scherzer is placed on the 10-day IL with a back strain. Nats win at home against the Braves, thanks to an Anthony Rendon grand slam. It’s also a win for Patrick Corbin, which puts the Corbin-Strasburg-Scherzer record at 23-5 since the beginning of June. (57-49)
  • July 31 – Trade deadline day. A couple of hours before the deadline, they acquire the Blue Jays setup man, Daniel Hudson. He was cut by the Angels in spring training, but he’s pitched well in high-leverage innings for Toronto this season. In need of another lefty reliever, they acquire Roenis Elias from the Mariners… who actually has reverse splits and isn’t actually great against lefties. The final piece they add is Hunter Strickland. They won’t all be relied upon to pitch in the postseason, but the depth they add to an exhausted bullpen in August and September will be huge. Speaking of the exhausted bullpen, Nats lose to the Braves in the 10th. (57-51)

August

  • Aug 2 – New reliever Roenis Elias comes in with a 2-0 lead to make his Nats debut. He gets two quick outs to end the inning, and stays in to bat. He pulls his hamstring trying to beat out a grounder, and has to go on the IL. But he, along with starter Joe Ross, as well as Hunter Strickland, Fernando Rodney and Sean Doolittle, combine to one-hit and shutout the Diamondbacks (58-51)
  • Aug 3 – Strasburg gives up 9 ER, despite 7 K, to the Diamondbacks in only 4 2/3. He’s thrown 9 2/3 against them in 2019, and they’ve hit 7 HRs. We’ll later learn he was tipping his pitches to them. Nats lose 18-7. Dozier and Parra pitch. Neither impressed. (58-52)
  • Aug 5 – Nats sign former National Adrubal Cabrera, a day after placing Howie Kendrick on the 10-day IL. They need bench help, and really don’t have a backup SS on the roster anyway. They also beat the Giants (59-53)
  • Aug 10 – Since joining the team, Gerardo Parra has hit .412/.459/.941 with RISP, but he didn’t get a chance to do it today. Nats lose to the Mets to start August 4-4. They’ve lost 3 of their last 4 series, and are in danger of falling out of the second WC spot. They’ll only lose 3 more games the rest of the month. (61-55)
  • Aug 11 – Juan Soto, rounding third after an Asdrubal Cabrera double, turns his ankle on the base. He is so hobbled that he can’t make it back to third and is tagged out. Nats fans (and Davey Martinez) freak out, but Soto will be fine to play. Nats also beat the Mets to avoid getting swept. (62-55)
  • Aug 16 – Nats win 2-1 at Milwaukee to take the series opener. Corbin gives up 1 run in 6 IP and strikes out 7, Rendon has 2 RBI doubles. They only have 2 more scheduled games against Milwaukee, which they’ll split. But they’ll end up winning one more against them before the year is over. (66-55)
  • Aug 18 – After struggling for a few weeks, thought to be due to overuse, Sean Doolittle gets a much needed break thanks to being put on the IL due to a knee issue. And they beat the Brewrs 16-8. Is that right? Yeah, 16-8. They hit 7 HRs in total, include 2 from Dozier and 2 from Soto. (67-56)
  • Aug 22 – Max Scherzer returns from another IL stint to pitch for the first time in almost a month, and only the second time since July 6. He only goes 4 innings to ease his way into things, but the Nats win, despite only scoring 7 runs. They had scored 10 or more in 5 of the previous 7 games. (70-57)
  • Aug 24 – Nats beat the Cubs 7-2. Joe Ross starts, but only goes 4 1/3 with 2 ER so he doesn’t get the win. He has started 5 games in August, and given up 3 ER the whole month. The team went 5-0 during his starts. It’s also players weekend, and while the all-black the Nats wear is bad, but tolerable, The Vatic-sorry, Chicago, is in all-white which looks just totally awful and is universally hated. (72-57)
  • Aug 30 – Nats recall injured relievers Elias and Strickland, and DFA Matt Grace. With Doolittle on the IL, Wander Suero is the only pitcher from the Opening Day bullpen on the active roster. Hudson blows a save opportunity as the Marlins make it 6-5 in the 9th. Anthony Rendon singles with Kendrick and Turner on base to walk it off. (75-58)

September

  • Sept 1 – Ryan Zimmerman and Sean Doolittle are activated, and other callups include Adrian Sanchez, Andrew Stevenson, Austin Voth, and Raudy Read. Nats complete the sweep of the Marlins. (77-58)
  • Sept 3 – Mets score 5 in the top of the 9th to extend a 5-4 lead to 10-4.  Nats score 7 in the bottom of the inning, capped by a Kurt Suzuki home run, to win a walkoff. Charlie and Dave do their “YOU BLEW IT!” call. These guys are gonna start thinking they have a chance to come back no matter what the score, no matter how late in the game. (78-59)
  • Sept 7 – Aaron Barrett pitches in the 5th inning, his first MLB appearance 2015. Kurt Suzuki hurts his elbow on a throw down to second, and won’t catch again for three weeks. Nats lose to the Braves, their 4th loss in a row. The Nats are 3-5 in September, but they’ll go 15-6 the rest of the way, including 8 wins in row to finish the season. And they won’t lose even 3 in a row until the World Series. Nats +2.0 in the Wild Card standings. (78-63)
  • Sept 12 – Nats win 12-6 to take 2 of 3 at Target Field. They’re now guaranteed to be .500 or better this season. They now have a 3 ½ game lead in the Wild Card race, which they’ll need over the next week. And Cabrera, who is hitting .345/.417/.607 as a National, seems to have taken the starting 2B spot. (81-64)
  • Sept 14 – Tied 1-1 with the Braves, Wander Suero walks the first two batters in the 7th. Fernando Rodney comes in and hits Charlie Culberson, who was squaring up to bunt, in the face with a pitch. Culberson was taken to the hospital. Davey Martinez pointed out to the umpires that he was in the act of bunting, so it should be a strike. The Braves manager argues, which may be why Martinez didn’t realize how shaken Rodney was. Rodney gives up two straight doubles, and later says he didn’t want to pitch after hitting Culberson. (81-66)
  • Sept 15 – Davey Martinez leaves the dugout in the 6th inning against the Braves to go to the hospital. Anibal Sanchez shuts out the Braves, to salvage the series. Martinez later explains he felt a sharp pain in his chest, had difficulty catching his breath, and had to undergo a cardiac catheterization. The win gives the Nats their 8th consecutive winning season. (82-67)
  • Sept 18 – Nats lose to the Cardinals, losing their second series in a row. They’ve managed to stay +1.5 in the Wild Card race, and will only lose one more game this season. The Cardinals aren’t feeling so bad themselves, and follow this series with a four game sweep of the Cubs, essentially knocking Chicago out of the Wild Card race and guaranteeing the Nats a spot. (83-68)
  • Sept 20 – Davey Martinez rejoins the team in Miami.  Nats win, Daniel Hudson gets a 6 out save. (84-68)
  • Sept 24 – Nats win both games of a doubleheader at home against Philadelphia. Daniel Hudson gets the save in both games. After the second game, the team turns to watch the Pirates-Cubs game on the big screen, and celebrate on the field when the Pirates win. They clinch a spot in the playoffs, as one of the Wild Card teams, with 5 games left in the season. (88-69)
  • Sept 27 – Kurt Suzuki starts at catcher for the first time in 3 weeks. Yan Gomes started nearly every game when Suzuki was out, and hit .276/.328/.621 in that time. Nats beat Cleveland 8-2, eliminating them from a postseason spot. (91-69)
  • Sept 29 – What looked like a difficult final week against postseason contenders just a few weeks prior turns out to be two sweeps, as the beat the Indians again to go 8-0 on the homestand. (93-69)

October

  • Oct 1 – Wild Card game (DC). Scherzer starts against the Brewers, goes 5 innings, gives up 3 runs. Strasburg pitches the next 3 and holds Milwaukee scoreless. Down 3-1 in the bottom of the 8th, with the bases loaded and two outs, Juan Soto singles to RF. PR Andrew Stevenson would have likely scored from second either way, but an error by Trent Grisham allows Rendon to score as well, giving the Nats a 4-3 lead. Hudson closes out the 9th with a deep fly ball to CF, which is caught by Victor Robles. It’s the Nats first win in a winner-take-all game ever.
  • Oct 3 – NLDS Game 1 (LA). Patrick Corbin has a strong 6 innings, giving up 2 runs, 1 earned, with 9 Ks. But Walker Buehler one hits the Nats in 6 IP, Rainey and Strickland give up 2 runs each, and the Nats lose 6-1 (0-1)
  • Oct 4 – NLDS Game 2 (LA). Strasburg strikes out 10 in 6 IP, Nationals score 3 in the first two off of Kershaw, and hold on thanks to 1 ER of combined relief from Doolittle, Scherzer, and Hudson. (1-1)
  • Oct 6 – NLDS Game 3 (DC). Nats take an early 2-0 lead, but after 5 scoreless from Anibal Sanchez, they turn to Corbin. He allows a single, gets 2 strikeouts, but then gives up a couple of doubles with 2 strikes, before Suero comes in and gives up a 3-run HR, and that’s all she wrote. (1-2)
  • Oct 7 – NLDS Game 4 (DC). Alex Ovechkin throws out the first pitch. Scherzer gives up a HR in the first to Justin Turner, but goes 7 with that as the only run. Nats tie it with a Rendon sac fly in the third, take the lead with a Rendon single in the 5th, and bust it open with a Ryan Zimmerman HR later that inning. Doolittle and Hudson close it out. (2-2)
  • Oct 9 – NLDS Game 5 (LA). Dodgers get 3 early against Strasburg, while the Nats can’t do much against Buehler, finally breaking through with a Rendon double and a Soto single in the 6th to plate 1. Strasburg limits the damage and leaves the game down 3-1 after 6. Clayton Kershaw comes in to finish the 7th and strikes out Eaton, but stays in the game, presumably to pitch to Soto despite the fact that the Dodgers have Soto-killer Adam Kolarek. Rendon and Soto both homer off Kershaw to tie it up. Rainey, Corbin, and Hudson combine in relief to shut the Dodgers out, before Joe Kelly comes out in the 10th to pitch his second inning of the night. Eaton walks, Rendon doubles, Soto is walked, and then Howie Kendrick hits a grand slam. Doolittle pitches a perfect inning, and the Nats advance beyond the NLDS for the first time ever. (3-2)
  • Oct 11 – NLCS Game 1 (StL). Anibal Sanchez is brilliant, and takes a no hitter through 2 outs in the 8th. Daniel Hudson misses the game to attend the birth of his child, but Doolittle gets all 4 batters he faces out. Nats only score 2 off a Yan Gomes double in the 2nd and a Howie Kendrick single in the 7th. Taylor starts over Robles, who strained his hamstring, and Gomes starts over Suzuki, who was hit by a pitch in his wrist. Nats win 2-0. (1-0)
  • Oct 12 – NLCS Game 2 (StL). Kurt Suzuki is back in the lineup. Adam Wainwright strikes out 11 in 7 IP, but so does Max Scherzer. Scherzer also only gives up 1 hit, a single. It’s the second game in a row the Nats starter has a one-hitter through 7. Wainwright, on the other hand, gives up 7 hits, the second one being a solo HR by Michael A Taylor to put the Nats up 1-0. Eaton singles in the 7th to pad the lead, which the Nats need as Doolittle gives up one run in the 8th, which included a misplay by Taylor on a ball hit over his head. Nats win 3-1. (2-0)
  • Oct 14 – NLCS Game 3 (DC). Strasburg doesn’t throw a one-hitter, but 12 Ks and 1 run (unearned) over 7 IP will do just fine. Victor Robles returns to the lineup. Nats rough up the Cardinals great young starter Jack Flaherty, for 4 runs in the third. They pile more on later and win 8-1. (3-0)
  • Oct 15 – NLCS Game 4 (DC). Nats put up 7 in the first inning, and look like they’re going to skate into the World Series. Corbin is dominant through 4, giving up 1 run, and home run to Yadier Molina, and striking out 10. But he runs into trouble in the 5th, issuing two walks and giving up 2 hits and 3 runs, to make the game 7-4. Nats decide the runs they scored in the first were enough, and don’t really threaten to score the rest of the game. But Rainey, Doolittle, and Hudson combine for 1 hit, 1 walk, and 0 runs over 4 innings to close it out. Nats win 7-4, and advance to their first ever World Series, which will be played DC for the first time since 1933. (4-0)
  • Oct 22 – World Series Game 1 (HOU). Astros get 2 in the first, but Scherzer doesn’t give up any more through 5. Mr. National Ryan Zimmerman gives them their first World Series run and home run with a solo shot in the 2nd. Soto ties it with a HR in the 4th. Suzuki walks before Robles, Eaton, and Soto all get hits to put the Nats up 5-2 on Gerrit Cole. Tanner Rainey gives up a HR to start the 7th, then walks 2 after a strikeout, but Hudson comes in and ends the threat. He stays in for the 8th, and gets hit hard, but only gives up 1 run, leaving with one out to go in the inning and a man on second. Doolittle finishes it out for the save. It is Cole’s first loss in five months, while Soto shines with a HR, a double, and 3 RBIs. (1-0)
  • Oct 23 – World Series Game 2 (HOU). The Nats get on top of Justin Verlander early, with a two-run double from Rendon to score Trea Turner and Adam Eaton. Strasburg, like Scherzer the day before, doesn’t look great in his first inning. He also gives up 2 runs, although it could have been worse if Jose Altuve doesn’t get thrown out trying to steal third. Both pitchers settle down through 6 innings, and it remains 2-2. Kurt Suzuki begins the 7th with a solo HR, and then Robles walks, chasing Verlander. Pressly loads the bases, including an intentional walk to Juan Soto, the first time Houston has issued one all season. Kendrick makes them pay with a 2-out single, as do Asdrubal Cabrera and Ryan Zimmerman. Eaton and Taylor add homers later in the game, and a tight game that the Astros probably should have been winning through 6 turns into a laugher by the end. Nats win 12-3. (2-0)
  • Oct 25 – World Series Game 3 (DC). Chad Cordero and Brian Schneider do the first pitch. Zack Greinke holds the Nats to 1 run, but is taken out with 2 out and 2 on in the 5th. Nats can’t capitalize. Meanwhile, Anibal Sanchez keeps getting hit, giving up 10 in 5 1/3 for 4 runs, with a Robinson Chirinos HR finally ending his night. Rodney, Ross, and Suero don’t allow any runs in relief, but Nats can’t score. They have plenty of chances early, but can’t convert, going 0-10 with RISP on the day. Suzuki hurts his hip and is questionable for Game 4. Nats lose for the first time in the postseason wearing their blue jerseys. (2-1)
  • Oct 26 – World Series Game 4 (DC). This one isn’t so close. Nats can’t get anything going against rookie Jose Urquidy, and Patrick Corbin gives up 4 ER over 6 IP. Nats don’t get much going against the bullpen, either. They manage to load the bases with 1 out in the 6th, but only get one run out of it. Bregman hits a grand slam off of Fernando Rodney in the 7th to put it out of reach. After 2 games at home, Nats are now 1-19 with RISP and people start start thinking they can’t get that big hit. Um, have you all been watching this team the last 5 months? (2-2)
  • Oct 27 – World Series Game 5 (DC). Jose Andres throws out the first pitch, the president is also in attendance and is… less well-received. But the big story is Max Scherzer, who is scratched from his start. Unable to lift his arms over his head, he has to have his wife dress him before heading to the park. Joe Ross steps up, and the crowd wills him to an impressive first inning, but he ends up giving up 4 ER over 5 IP. Not terrible for a spot start, but it’s the wrong night to be only not terrible. Gerrit Cole gets his revenge after a lackluster game 1, only allowing 3 hits and 1 ER in 7 IP. Nats are swept at home in the World Series, and are one loss away from elimination. (2-3)
  • Oct 29 – World Series Game 6 (HOU). Back in Houston, Stephen Strasburg takes on Justin Verlander to try to keep the Nats alive. Nats score 1 run in the first on a couple of singles, but Stras gives up a couple of runs right after, including a solo HR to Bregman, who brings his bat with him to first base. Strasburg bears down after that, though, making it all the way to the 9th without giving up another run, getting out of jams in the 4th and 5th. Nats take the lead in the 5th off of solo shots from Adam Eaton and Juan Soto, who also brings hit bat with him. In the 7th, Nats appear to have a rally going but Trea Turner gets called for interference. Instead of 2nd and 3rd with no outs, it’s just a man on first with 1 out. No problem for Anthony Rendon, who hits a 2-run HR to extend the lead to 5-2. Davey Martinez gets thrown out after that, but Strasburg stays in for another 7 outs before Doolittle comes in with 1 out in the 9th to finish it. Scherzer says he’s ready to go. One more game. (3-3)
  • Oct 30 – World Series Game 7 (HOU). Thanks to a cortisone shot (and a crazy amount of competitiveness) Max Scherzer is ready to go, 3 days after being unable to lift his arm above his head. His velocity is there early on, but his location isn’t, and he gets hit pretty hard. But the Astros, despite a bunch of 100+ mph exit velocities, can’t seem to put many runs up. Everyone wonders why Scherzer is still in the game, especially when his velocity drops. But lots of loud, deep outs are still outs, and Max goes 5 IP giving up only 2 ER on mostly smoke and mirrors. Greinke, meanwhile, looks almost unhittable. Nats don’t get a runner to second base until the 5th, when Asdrubal Cabrera sacrifices Kendrick, who had walked with one out, over there. But Zimmerman strikes out, and Greinke keeps rolling. Corbin relieves Strasburg for the 6th, and pitches 3 dominant innings. In the top of the 7th, Anthony Rendon hits a solo homer to put the Nats within 1, and Greinke gets pulled from the game after walking Juan Soto. Will Harris comes in, and throws a fastball low and away that hits the corner. But Howie Kendrick gets just enough of it to send it off the RF foul pole, and the Nats go up 3-2. Corbin keeps the Nats up, and then Soto singles off of Roberto Osuna in the 8th to make it 4-2. Corbin does it again, and Adam Eaton has a 2-run RBI single in the 9th to make it 6-2. Daniel Hudson gets a popup and then 2 strikeouts in the 9th and throws his glove across the field. Nats win! Of course the Comeback Nats were down early, they had to come back in all 5 elimination games they played this postseason, which, of course, they were able to do. The record before this postseason was 3 times. The Washington Nationals are the 2019 World Series Champions. (4-3)
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