Bryce Harper’s iconic line has spread like wildfire this October and for good reason. Hours before Harper’s 27th birthday, his old team the Washington Nationals swept the St. Louis Cardinals and were headed to the 2019 World Series. Was there any trolling on social media? That’s a clown question, bro.
But before the trolling, before the sweep, and before Harper’s birthday loomed — the Nationals had to fight long and hard to even find themselves in the midst of the postseason.
In spring training, the Nationals made sense in the beginning on the season. Anthony Rendon, Trea Turner, Juan Soto, Adam Eaton, Patrick Corbin, Max Scherzer, and Stephen Strasburg. Weapons, if used correctly. Who needed Harper? The Nationals sure didn’t.
Except, in a way, they did. Despite removing Harper’s name from jerseys, fans began to wonder if the Nationals were the new Red Sox after Babe Ruth became a rival Yankee. Things seemed cursed. Bullpen woes and riddled with injuries, the Nats were a sinking ship.
Of course on paper, the Nationals looked solid. And after many trials and tribulations, the Nationals found themselves in the middle of the Wild Card race with the likes of big contenders like the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Wild Card game felt like a fever dream with Max Scherzer starting. Despite allowing Yasmani Grandal to hit a home run in the first inning, his signature wild eyes and grunting didn’t give up.
The game looked done. The Brewers would continue into the NLDS to face the Los Angeles Dodgers. The season seemed to be over and fans in the stands knew it.
Until everything changed. Juan Soto stepped up to the dish and in that moment, history began to take shape. A misplayed error by Milwaukee’s own Trent Grisham sealed the fate of both teams.
The Nationals took down the dominate Los Angeles Dodgers and the improbable St. Louis Cardinals, winning the National League pennant and never looking back.
The World Series looked to be in favor of the Nationals until this weekend with the Astros finally arriving in true Astro fashion. Bregman’s grand slam last night off of 42 year old Fernando Rodney sent the baseball world into hysterics.
Despite Houston’s offense waking up and Washington’s falling asleep in the last two games held in D.C., I still believe the World Series will end with a Nationals’ victory. The power of Baby Shark will prevail.
Nationals in six.
Things to note:
Stephen Strasburg ranked fourth in all of Major League Baseball in the regular season with 18 wins (tied with Domingo Germán and Zack Greinke), with an ERA of 3.32 and a total of 251 strikeouts.
Max Scherzer ranked eighth among all MLB pitchers in the regular season with an ERA of 2.92 and 243 strikeouts. Patrick Corbin finished with an ERA of 3.25 and 238 strikeouts.
Anthony Rendon finished the regular season in 10th with a 6.3 WAR for all MLB position players, in fifth with a batting average of .319, and in eighth with a 6.4 offensive WAR. He also ranked first in RBIs with 126, 34 home runs and 117 runs.
Víctor Robles finished the regular season with a 2.6 defensive WAR. Juan Soto finished the regular season with 34 home runs and 110 runs. Adam Eaton finished the regular season with 103 runs. Trea Turner, despite being on the IL with a broken index finger had 35 stolen bases.