Despite the odds, the Nationals won it all
It was an interesting year for sports. Here in Denver, the Broncos, Rapids, and Rockies all had underwhelming seasons and two surprising runs from the Nuggets and Aves both came up short in the playoffs.
Despite the disappointment in Colorado, in Washington D.C. of all places, the Nationals were able to catch lightning in a bottle and win it all in a season where they had limited potential. After losing their superstar right fielder, Bryce Harper, to the Philadelphia Phillies for one of baseball’s biggest paychecks, Baseball-Reference.com only gave the Nats a 0.1 percent chance of winning the National League pennant.
By the All-Star break it seemed that they would be playing second fiddle to the Atlanta Braves for the rest of the season, and while that was the case in the division, it was certainly a different story in October. Atlanta underperformed in the playoffs, and the Nationals got the jump on the Milwaukee Brewers in the bottom of the eighth inning of the NL Wild Card Game, catapulting the Nats into the divisional round against the Dodgers. What should have been a cakewalk for Los Angeles ended up being another upset that the Dodgers were on the wrong side of, losing three of the five games in the series.
The Nationals then swept St. Louis, allowing the Cardinals only six runs in the entire series, and sent themselves to the World Series against Houston. What followed were two straight wins by Washington, three straight wins by Houston, and another two straight wins from Washington, thereby making them World Series Champions for the first time in franchise history.
This was not only their first World Series win, but also their first World Series appearance, leaving the Seattle Mariners as the only team in the MLB to have never appeared in it. This is undoubtedly the best moment in sports for 2019, and one of baseball’s best underdog stories.