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Monday, May 27, 2024
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Washington Nationals obtain elusive World Series title

After years of close calls and mediocrity, the city of Washington D.C can finally hoist a World Series trophy.

The Washington Nationals won their first World Series title in franchise history Wednesday, defeating the Houston Astros in a thrilling Game Seven matchup by a score of 6-2.

The victory concluded a historic postseason run by the Nationals, who came into the playoffs as a Wild Card team expected to make it no further than the Division Series as a result of lack of depth and inconsistency.

The Nationals proved this assumption to be wrong rather quickly. Down 3-1 in the late innings of the Wild Card game against Milwaukee, just when all of the naysayers about Washington seemed to be right, the Nationals shined. Juan Soto knocked a single into right field with the bases loaded, driving in three runs.

The Nationals stayed alive.

In the National League Division Series, the Nationals faced the Goliath-esque Los Angeles Dodgers, a 106-win team stacked with All-Star caliber players. Washington quickly found itself down two games to one, and in the final few innings of that Game 4, the Dodgers looked poised to crush their postseason dreams, as they led by a score of 3-1. 

Then Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto, Washington’s star hitters, stepped up. The pair hit back-to-back homers to tie the game at three, and the rest was history when veteran Howie Kendrick blasted a grand slam in extra innings to ensure the Nationals’ victory. Washington took Game 5 the following night.

The Nationals stayed alive.

Washington then barreled into the National League Championship Series against a flourishing St. Louis Cardinals club, a team with fresh momentum coming off of a stunning NLDS win against the favored Braves. The Cardinals were hot. The Nationals were hotter, sweeping them in 4 games of sheer dominance.

The Nationals stayed alive.

Finally, the Washington Nationals arrived at the World Series. The behemoth Astros stood in their way. A team built for postseason dominance, the Astros boasted countless All-Stars, multiple MVP candidates, a former MVP winner, and a pitching rotation that had struck fear into the hearts of opponents all season. The Nationals found themselves on the brink of elimination again, down three games to two after blowing three games at home. Yet again, though, the club would not give in. 

After a clutch performance by star pitcher Stephen Strausburg in Game 6, the Nationals came up big late in Game 7, with two home runs from Anthony Rendon and Howie Kendrick giving them the lead. After more offense late, the Nationals’ Daniel Hudson sealed the deal, pitching a scoreless ninth inning.

The Nationals stayed alive. 

After numerous comebacks and close games, the team from Washington that has failed so many times prior finally has its title. They fought for it and scrapped for it, and the work has finally paid off.

The Nationals stayed alive when it really counted, and now they have a World Series to show for it.

Micah Johnston

Micah Johnston ‘22 is a journalism and media studies double major who has written for The Cluster since his freshman year at Mercer. He has written on and reported for Georgia Public Broadcasting, The Macon Telegraph and The Macon Newsroom on a variety of topics. He received the Center for Collaborative Journalism’s Junior Honors Award for the 2020-2021 academic year. Micah’s other interests include obsessively following Braves and Mariners baseball, constantly listening to all kinds of music and probably eating junk food.

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