The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

Three Reasons Why the Nationals’ World Series Run Was so Special

Washington Nationals players celebrate after winning game seven of the World Series by a score of 6-2. This was their first championship in franchise history. (David J. Phillip/AP Photo)

The Washington Nationals won the 2019 World Series last week, defeating the Houston Astros in a seven-game series. This is their first World Series title in franchise history and D.C.’s second since 1924 when the Washington Senators were the district’s ballclub. This series, along with the Nationals season as a whole, was nothing short of incredible for the following three reasons:

Lack of a Winning History

It was a long time coming for Nationals fans as the team has only ever made the playoffs four times and never moved past the first round since returning to DC in 2005.

“In the past, you wanted to support [the Nationals] but you didn’t really see the potential for them to go far. This year there was chemistry between the players and they had a really great dynamic,” WIS junior Vanessa Schor said.

This year there was chemistry between the players and they had a really great dynamic.

Story continues below advertisement
WIS junior Vanessa Schor

After a disappointing start to the season where they lost 31 of their first 50 games and had a 1.5 percent chance of winning the title, the Nationals turned their season around and achieved something many saw as impossible.

They went from being twelve games under .500 to clinching the fourth place spot in the National League where they went on to defeat the Milwaukee Brewers in the Wild Card game. They then faced the Los Angeles Dodgers, the team with the second-best record in Major League Baseball (MLB) and defeated them in five games. The Nationals swept the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Championship Series to move on to the World Series.

Home Field Disadvantage

The home team lost every game in the World Series, something that has never happened in MLB, NBA or NHL history. 

The concept of “home field advantage” is where teams have a greater chance of winning at their own stadiums due to greater fan support. In baseball, an understanding of outfield wall distances, getting the final chance at-bat, and other idiosyncrasies provide the home team with extra benefits. This concept, however, proved to be a non-factor this year.

The Nationals won the first two games in Houston only to lose the following three at home putting them on the brink of elimination entering game six. They scored 15 runs while only giving up four in total during the final two games in Houston, sealing the series for good.

“It was pretty crazy and unexpected. I feel like it had to do with the pressure of performing in front of your home crowd. Maybe it got into the players’ heads or maybe it was just a coincidence,” WIS freshman Nikola Zec said.

“Bryce Harper-Less”

With 2015 Most Valuable Player and former Nationals No. 1 overall pick Bryce Harper signing a 13 year, $330 million deal with the division rival Philadelphia Phillies in the offseason, critics and fans alike wrote the Nationals off as a viable threat in the MLB.

“The NL East is supremely talented, but this feels like the Phillies’ time,” Alden Gonzalez, a multimedia reporter at ESPN, said prior to the 2019-2020 season.

Clearly, the Nationals did just fine, if not better, without star player Bryce Harper. This change in personnel allowed other Nationals players to step up and become the new faces of the franchise.

“[Juan] Soto has always been good, but this year he took a step forward with his hitting, especially on breaking balls,” WIS sophomore Jack Huffard said.

The team may yet again look very different by the time Spring Training comes around as third-baseman Anthony Rendon is expected to field offers in the $210-$215 million range and pitcher Stephen Strasburg has decided to opt-out of his four-year, $100 million player option.

Nonetheless, the Nationals World Series run was nothing short of amazing and the team will look to repeat as MLB champions once again despite possibly losing certain key players.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All International Dateline Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *