The team which experts doubted would have any success, the team that was 19-31 on May 24 and had slim chances of making the playoffs, the team that was on the verge of firing their second year manager and the team that let their star player go in the offseason has done the unimaginable: the Washington Nationals have clinched a bid to the 2019 Major League Baseball (MLB) World Series.
Many fans and players are rejoicing after getting over the proverbial “hump.” The obstacle that stood in the way of the team since returning to the district in 2005, has been getting past the first round of the playoffs. The team had been to the playoffs numerous times in the last decade and have fallen short each time. As a result, many fans coined the idea “The D.C. Curse” and vouched that the team would never even have a shot at the title with the current core group of players.
However, this year felt different. The vibe in the ballpark felt special. The players seemed to have a camaraderie that was unwavering. The manager seemed to have a steady confidence that his ballclub would turn the tables.
Treading their way through the first few months of the season, it looked like it was once again a lost cause. The manager once again was soon to be on his way out the door and the franchise was soon to catch fire. However, the team began to loosen their strings, play for one another and have fun.
After May 24, there was no looking back as the team began their crawl to try and place themselves in the playoffs to have a shot at a World Series title. They did just that, crawling themselves out of a giant hole and finishing with a record of 93-69 to close out the regular season. This was great enough to allow them to host the first ever wild card game at Nationals park in front of 45,000 passionate fans that represent a die-hard fanbase. The rest has been history.
The ballclub matched up with the Miluawkee Brewers on a chilly October evening to kick off the 2019 MLB playoffs in a win or go home wild card game. After falling behind early, a miraculous comeback occurred that will never be forgotten: young phenom, Juan Soto, poked a ball into shallow right field in the bottom of the eighth to clear the bases which allowed the team to take a one-run lead. Nationals Park suddenly had a gleam of hope. The players perked up, the fans cheered louder and the Washington Nationals were able to close out the game in the ninth inning, allowing the team to advance to the Divisional Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Los Angeles Dodgers were the number one seeded team in the National League and were a favorite to win the World Series. The Nationals had no shot according to everyone in the baseball world. They should have thought again. The Washington Nationals were able to shock the world in a game five in which veteran Howie Kendrick hit a grand slam to give the Washington Nationals a commanding lead after being down. The comeback kids had done it again.
The Washington fan base was in disbelief. Their team had finally done it; the Washington Nationals were headed to the National League Championship series to face off against the St. Louis Cardinals. The season felt like a success regardless of the outcome of this series. However, that was not the motto of the players on the team. They were relentless and wanted nothing less than to bring a World Series title to the district and to the fans who had stuck by their side throughout the journey.
They kicked off the first two games of the championship series in St. Louis. They were successful in St. Louis, as they took a commanding two game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals. They then came back home to the District, where the fans warmly greeted them and hoped they could clinch a World Series berth on their home diamond. They did just that.
As Victor Robles sealed the final out of the four game sweep over the St. Louis Cardinals, the Washington Nationals had finally done it. National League Champions. The city that had awaited for a victory of a magnitude this large had finally been gifted for their patience. As fireworks rained down, the crowd roared and the players celebrated, something special had happened on South Capitol Street: The Washington Nationals have given themselves a shot at the 2019 World Championship.
The journey is far from over. The team that set out on an improbable journey has done the unimaginable. Regardless of the opponent, this ballclub will go down in the record books. As a result of all the time and energy put in by the fans, money and mentality instilled by the team ownership and commitment of the players who believed in this city, the Washington Nationals will be hosting a World Series on South Capitol Street.
Buckle up and enjoy the ride. It is time to finish the fight.