A lot of firsts will happen next week in Washington D.C. baseball history.
First and foremost, for the first time in 86 years Washington D.C. will host the World Series game starting Game Three on Friday, October 25. The Washington Nationals will also play in their first World Series game in their Expos/Nationals history.
D.C. baseball fans have suffered tremendous heartbreak since the original Washington Senators left for Minnesota in 1960 and the second Senators left in 1971. Then a ton of postseason heartbreak from 2012 to 2018.
Now in 2019, the year of the Baby Shark, the Comeback, or whatever you want to call it the Nationals’ season it lives to play another day.
After a Game Five winner-take-all NLDS, the Nationals stormed back to Stay In The Fight. The NLCS, however, was a completely different story. The Nationals failed to trail at all in the series, outscoring the Cardinals 20-6.
Game Four had a little bit of everything to describe the Nationals season. The offense remained red-hot scoring seven runs in the first inning but had a pitching falter and allowed four runs in the fourth and fifth innings but managed to work through it.
Patrick Corbin had the nerve to only work five innings during the pennant-clincher allowing four runs in his five innings of work but was lights out early on striking out 10 through his first four innings of work and picked up two more in the fifth inning. Corbin racked up 64 strikes on 95 total pitches good for a 67.4 strike percentage.
The Baby Shark made an appearance for the Nationals after pinch-hitting for Tanner Rainey who came on to work a perfect sixth inning. For the first time all postseason, Nationals fans were able to baby shark when Gerrardo Parra came to bat. All 43,976 fans clapped their hands in unison and sang along to Baby Shark.
Sean Doolittle came into the game to work the seventh and two outs in the eighth allowing a single hit Marcel Ozuna before coming out of the game in favor of Daniel Hudson who ended up pitch a high-stress eighth inning.
After catcher Yadier Molina was hit by a pitch and a walk on a 3-2 pitch from Paul DeJong loaded the bases Hudson all of a sudden faced sudden danger. The Cardinals pinch-hit left-handed hitter Matt Carpenter to face the righty Hudson with the bases loaded and the Cardinals down by three.
Nationals fans quickly faced 2012 NLDS vibes when the TBS graphic showed that Carpenter hit .484 with the bases loaded during the 2019 regular season. After working a 2-2 count Hudson was able to get Carpenter to roll over to a ball that was nearly booted by Brian Dozier who came on to replace Howier Kendrick at second base just two batters earlier.
After a stressful eighth inning the Hudson was able to pitch a clean ninth inning and punched their ticket to the World Series sweeping the Cardinals.
Following up his go-ahead grand slam in the NLDS, Kendrick was named NLCS MVP for his effort. In four games Kendrick went 6-for-15 with four strike outs, two walk, four runs, and four RBI
The Nationals will party all night but their quest isn’t over yet. A World Series trophy is still on their mind.