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The Washington Nationals (2005-), 2019 WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS! W00000000000T!


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That was nuts last night. I've never high-fived so many strangers in my life. It was my fifth game in eight days, and I was pretty worn out, especially with the late start time. My legs didn't want to

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Well, here we go! Again. (checks pre-season prognostications; SI predicts a Nats-Yanks Series)  Yup, looking good! (checks Boz's Opening Day eve musings)  You bet, this has to be the year!

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That was nuts again last night. I was a couple sections over from where I was for the wild card. Monday night I was in the seats behind Soto, where I prefer to sit.  The thing that struck me last night is that the concrete was rocking the way it did at RFK. That was an interesting kind of nostalgia (except I didn't have concern that parts of the stadium would fall apart, the way I did at RFK.)

It was just stunning to be there, like did this actually happen?  I was texting friends at various points, including one I used to go to games with who moved back to the PNW a couple years ago and another who was going to use my extra ticket if there was a Wednesday game. The whole thing was surreal.

It was also great for Ted Lerner to get this on his 94th birthday, and their longest serving usher (from day 1) turned 82 at midnight.

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17 minutes ago, Pat said:

That was nuts again last night. I was a couple sections over from where I was for the wild card. Monday night I was in the seats behind Soto, where I prefer to sit.  The thing that struck me last night is that the concrete was rocking the way it did at RFK. That was an interesting kind of nostalgia (except I didn't have concern that parts of the stadium would fall apart, the way I did at RFK.)

It was just stunning to be there, like did this actually happen?  I was texting friends at various points, including one I used to go to games with who moved back to the PNW a couple years ago and another who was going to use my extra ticket if there was a Wednesday game. The whole thing was surreal.

It was also great for Ted Lerner to get this on his 94th birthday, and their longest serving usher (from day 1) turned 82 at midnight.

Unless you go to the World Series (and I hope you do, and *even* if you do), this was probably the "best" baseball game you'll ever see in your life, in terms of importance and satisfaction - I mean, you were *there* when the Nats won the pennant!

Curious, who else was there? I don't want you making this claim ten-years from now, so speak up and get on-record!

I was at the 1969 All-Star game - that's the best I can do. (It was 50-years ago - I was 7-years old!)

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37 minutes ago, Pat said:

That was nuts again last night. I was a couple sections over from where I was for the wild card. Monday night I was in the seats behind Soto, where I prefer to sit.  The thing that struck me last night is that the concrete was rocking the way it did at RFK. That was an interesting kind of nostalgia (except I didn't have concern that parts of the stadium would fall apart, the way I did at RFK.)

It was just stunning to be there, like did this actually happen?  I was texting friends at various points, including one I used to go to games with who moved back to the PNW a couple years ago and another who was going to use my extra ticket if there was a Wednesday game. The whole thing was surreal.

It was also great for Ted Lerner to get this on his 94th birthday, and their longest serving usher (from day 1) turned 82 at midnight.

Great for you as a true blue fan.   Simply a killer exciting exhilarating evening.  All these years.  Then all these years of playoff losses.  So exciting to know the stands were rocking.  So much like old RFK.  Extra exciting.  Hope you get to the Series and witness Nats' wins.

BTW:  Winning four straight against ST Louis was out of a dream. 

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Great stat that Don and the other seamheads will appreciate. The Nats held St Louis, a solid offensive team, to a .130 batting average, which is about what an average-hitting pitcher hits. For comparison, when the Orioles swept the Dodgers in the WS in 1966, in a pitching-dominated era, the Dodgers hit .142.

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3 hours ago, DonRocks said:

I know that Houston is supposed to be the better team, but for the Nats' very first World Series, doesn't playing the "New York Yankees" have a nice ring to it?

No. Then there would be Yankees fans at the park. That would be bad.

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1 hour ago, Bob Wells said:

Great stat that Don and the other seamheads will appreciate. The Nats held St Louis, a solid offensive team, to a .130 batting average, which is about what an average-hitting pitcher hits. For comparison, when the Orioles swept the Dodgers in the WS in 1966, in a pitching-dominated era, the Dodgers hit .142.

😯

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2 hours ago, saf said:

No. Then there would be Yankees fans at the park. That would be bad.

Yeah, I know. I'm torn between I don't want to deal with the Astros rotation and I don't want to deal with Yankees fans.

MLB controls the tickets for these games, and you know that means a lot of them are going to go to NY fans. The ticket guy I've been dealing with said that MLB releases blocks back to the teams to sell.

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34 minutes ago, Pat said:

Yeah, I know. I'm torn between I don't want to deal with the Astros rotation and I don't want to deal with Yankees fans.

MLB controls the tickets for these games, and you know that means a lot of them are going to go to NY fans. The ticket guy I've been dealing with said that MLB releases blocks back to the teams to sell.

Yeah. Hence, go Astros. After a LONG ALCS, with every game going to extras please. Exhaust them!

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6 hours ago, DonRocks said:

Unless you go to the World Series (and I hope you do, and *even* if you do), this was probably the "best" baseball game you'll ever see in your life, in terms of importance and satisfaction - I mean, you were *there* when the Nats won the pennant!

Curious, who else was there? I don't want you making this claim ten-years from now, so speak up and get on-record!

I was at the 1969 All-Star game - that's the best I can do. (It was 50-years ago - I was 7-years old!)

I was there. Halfway up Section C. Incredible game. Looking forward to the Series, and was very happy to see Mark Lerner acknowledge the DeWitt family from the podium after the game. Very nice to call out one of the best families in baseball. Also interesting that the Nats won the penant right before Bryce's Birthday...

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I was at games 3 and 4. It was awesome!

But, to be clear, I'm a Yankees fan from birth. And, the primary reason why I bought tickets, and went to the games, was so I could more easily buy World Series tickets if the Yankees (hopefully) make it.

And, even though I'm a Yankees fan, I love baseball and commonly will find myself watching random Mariners vs. A's games deep into the night for no reason at all. So, being at games 3 and 4 was satisfying for a lot of reasons.

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We have a lot of members in my ticket group, and I try to be a fair and benevolent administrator when it comes to making sure everybody gets their share of post-season baseball.  I hedged my bets and chose Game 5 for the NLCS; I sent my wife to Game 4 since she hadn't been to a playoff game at all yet.  I don't regret it one bit.   They are still playing and that is all that matters.

But you'd better believe my ass is going to be in our seats for Games 3, 4 and 5 next week.

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On 10/13/2019 at 5:59 PM, Steve R. said:

Are you all avoiding talking about their recent wins (as of this post, they are 2-0 over the Cards) due to superstition about hexing them or is it just indifference? 

I wouldn't be missing a chance to gloat/brag/be happy if I was youse guys.  Just sayin'. 🧛‍♂️

Astro's.  We'll kick their butts!!!!!

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This really is quite an incredible ride we're on!!! I'll spare all of the narratives around the Astros being heavily favored and yet in this position down 0-2 and having to go on the road.  A couple things I've run across in the past days:

- Since the advent of the 7-game LCS format, there have been 8 teams who have swept their pennant series 4-0.  Only ONE of those teams went on the win the World Series that year.  3 of these teams were themselves swept out of the WS!

- Verlander is likely to win the AL Cy Young this year if his co-ace Cole doesn't.  He is now 0-6 as a World Series starter.   He is the all-time MLB post-season strikeout leader as of last night, but statistically one of the worst WS starters ever! That puts even Kershaw's post-season woes into perspective.

- On paper, when measured by the games following the Nats 19-31 start, the two teams match up very well. The notable exception being the Nats bullpen issues.  Ignore that and look at the last 15-20 games leading up this Series including LDS and LCS.  Based on that ask yourself who came in with the advantage.  This 2-0 start is NOT a surprise.  Neither team is playing to their season-long average performance RIGHT NOW.  It's obvious when you zoom in and ignore stats which tell you in part how they were playing 5 months ago.

Baseball is weird, man.  And playoff baseball is the weirdest.

My heart may not survive this weekend.

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10 hours ago, TedE said:

Baseball is weird, man.  And playoff baseball is the weirdest.

My heart may not survive this weekend.

Its very exciting and the Nats are on a great run.  Heard from one of my oldest friends; he lives near Philly and is a Philly fan.  He loves this series and wants to jump on the Nats bandwagon.  Plenty of room, I responded.

When he and I were High School Seniors we played on an intramural basketball team named the Nads.  The reason of course was that we could get an attractive blond classmate to come to games and cheer....Let's Go Nads.   Unfortunately she is down near New Orleans and will not be traveling North to lead cheers this weekend.  Regardless--Lets Go Nats!!!

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On 10/24/2019 at 3:36 PM, DaveO said:

Its very exciting and the Nats are on a great run.  Heard from one of my oldest friends; he lives near Philly and is a Philly fan.  He loves this series and wants to jump on the Nats bandwagon.  Plenty of room, I responded.

When he and I were High School Seniors we played on an intramural basketball team named the Nads.  The reason of course was that we could get an attractive blond classmate to come to games and cheer....Let's Go Nads.   Unfortunately she is down near New Orleans and will not be traveling North to lead cheers this weekend.  Regardless--Lets Go Nats!!!

The Nads was a popular name for intramural teams at my camp in Maine too. Such wit! 

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That was a frustrating game. The RISP stranded! The terrible umpiring at home plate. Sanchez wasn't what he's been lately but wasn't horrible. They got hits but couldn't put anything together. They could have come back at any point. Overall, though, they looked discombobulated. I thought Zimmerman was dead when he went down. It took him a long time to get up. Suzuki injured yet another part of his body. And, Trea, ouch.

Rendon and Soto picked an odd time to change their approach at the plate and aggressively swing at first pitches. Soto had just an uncharacteristically bad game all in.His fielding was subpar (and right after his Gold Glove nomination). Maybe all the focus on his birthday was a bit too much pressure.

The Cordero and Schneider first pitch battery was great, though. And to keep everything in perspective, we were walking out near two guys in Astros jerseys and one was saying to the other: "Even when we were up 4 - 1 in the ninth I was really nervous." Hey, I know that feeling! 

We walked home, arriving at 1:15 and will be leaving in not too many hours to head back over. Go Nats!

(And, Don, we're in the middle of a row a few rows from the top of the stadium, so not prime for visiting. I hope you enjoy.)

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Great atmosphere over the past three games... the results, not so much. Saw a lot that I've never seen before in my section - two women were removed for flashing Gerritt Cole, some Maga guys got into an argument with veterans on two consecutive nights (different veterans), and few of the usual suspects in my section in attendance. I was really impressed with the Delta Club service for the series - my first beer each night was given in a commemorative cup. They were happy to provide other commemorative cups if asked, as well. Some may figure it's the least they can do given several years with these tickets, but I thought it was a very nice touch.

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It was quite a ride, on the biggest, most thrilling and terrifying* roller coaster imaginable.  I'm really happy for the whole team, especially Zim and MVP Strasburg, the 21st century Walter Johnson. Who'd a thunk it? (Well, I guess Mike Rizzo, and that's why they shut him down in 2012...) And Scherzer and Sanchex, who won as teammates but not as Tigers. And hometown boy Anthony "I want bourbon!" Rendon. And Soto, my heavens, Soto.

Bring on the parade!

 

*the bullpen! Eek! Happy Halloween.

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1 hour ago, Pat said:

I'm really happy for the whole team, especially Zim and MVP Strasburg, the 21st century Walter Johnson. Who'd a thunk it? (Well, I guess Mike Rizzo, and that's why they shut him down in 2012...)

One thing I can't quite get over is how famous Walter Johnson is right now, over 100-years after his prime. I don't recall him being this well-known when I was a childhood baseball fan (and the Senators were still around), and it seems to be mostly a local phenomenon. Christy Mathewson was a peer of Johnson, but he isn't nearly as mentioned right now. Ruth and Cobb, yes, but they were hitters; Rogers Hornsby and Honus Wagner don't have the cult-like following of Johnson, who is known even among casual baseball fans around here. I think it's awesome.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled century.

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3 hours ago, MC Horoscope said:

If I told you I saw it coming it would be the biggest lie of my life!

They were a wild card; the third best record in the NL, tied for 9th best record in baseball;  started out 19-31;  miserable miserable relief pitchers at the start of the year.  Lots and lots and lots of reasons to doubt them (as I did). 

Tremendous last 2/3 of the season.  Started faltering in early September then had a magical run at the end of the season and this playoff run of wins and comebacks.   Comebacks and comebacks and winning 4 away games in the WS. 

And all after never progressing in a single playoff before this.

LETS GO NATS.  WORLD CHAMPIONS!!!  Worthy magical victors

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The past week has been a blur of nerves and sleep deprivation that may take a while to break out of, so I'll just say this: Thank you, AJ Hinch.  Thank you for making the exact kind of context-free, stat head, match-up obsessed move that has doomed the Nats in the past (Williams pulling an utterly dominant Jordan Zimmermann in Game 2 in 2014, 26 outs into a 1 hit gem, a mere week after he had thrown the first Nats no-hitter; Dusty Baker, in probably the last of his many questionable playoff calls, pulling Scherzer in Wrigley in 2017 to play matchy-matchy with a middling middle reliever; both promptly ended in Nats losses).

When it happened last night I said to everybody I was texting "The door is open".  Grienke had completely shut the Nats down.  They were powerless against him.  At some point in the 4th or 5th inning he had over half of the put outs recorded because the only contact the Nats could seemingly make were weak come-backers to the mound.  The door was ajar with Harris (their only really reliable option) and blew wide f*cking open when Osuna came in with 7 outs to get; there was no way in hell he was going 2 1/3 himself.  I knew after Rendon's homer that it was going to get good, but the Astros panicked and pulled him way too early.

And don't think Cole didn't notice: https://twitter.com/HunterAtkins35/status/1189758262133919744

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2 hours ago, TedE said:

When it happened last night I said to everybody I was texting "The door is open".  Grienke had completely shut the Nats down.  They were powerless against him.  At some point in the 4th or 5th inning he had over half of the put outs recorded because the only contact the Nats could seemingly make were weak come-backers to the mound.  The door was ajar with Harris (their only really reliable option) and blew wide f*cking open when Osuna came in with 7 outs to get; there was no way in hell he was going 2 1/3 himself.  I knew after Rendon's homer that it was going to get good, but the Astros panicked and pulled him way too early.

When Rendon jacked his gherkin, I screamed, "There's a crack in the armor!" Greinke had been Maddux-like in his precision, and Rendon's homer (with only a 1-run lead) gave Hinch just enough doubt to make that fateful decision. In the 7th inning, the batters had faced him twice, and it would have taken guts to leave him in ... but you never know which relievers are going to be just a little nervous ... just a little tense. It was a gamble based on fear, and it opened the door for sure.

Boswell's tweets today are all insightful and accurate.

This article really lays out the facts of how improbable this World Series Championship was - it's a fun read:

"Nationals' Dream Season Nothing Short of a Miracle" by Tom Verducci on si.com

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Here is a charming story for Nats fans.  It was written by a fourth generation Washingtonian with a child...that makes for 5 generations in the city of immigrants from around the nation and globe.  Frank Foer writes about the Nats, the championship, his dad, and his introduction to baseball in the National Capital.  Foer is one of 3 very highly regarded literary brothers who grew up in the Maryland suburbs of DC.  I know his dad, just a little, from working with him decades ago.  Always respected his father, who had a terrific thoughtful demeanor in our interactions. 

Frank Foer is now a staff writer for the Atlantic and was formerly editor of the New Republic.  He is highly regarded among journalists.  Its an entertaining story for fans of the Nats.  Here is a guy who grew up with the echoes of the Washington Senators conveyed to him via his dad, a fan from his youth.  As a youth Frank followed the Orioles and grew to love Cal Ripken.  His father took Frank and his brothers to Orioles games while wearing a Senators hat and jacket. 

Over the recent years Frank and his dad followed the Nats--a love of baseball running through their blood.  His long term Washington citizenship connected his grandfather with Ted Lerner, Nats owner.  This season he and his dad suffered during the early part of the season....as we all did. 

Anyway....read his story.  As his friend/twitter friend states...it is beautiful and it actually hurts a little.

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