By Charlie Scharnberger and Declan Herlihy
SILVER SPRING. Md.– The Washington Nationals defied all odds when they swept the National League Champion Series against the Arizona Cardinals, beating the National League Central champions without giving up a single game.
Based on the postseason, one would assume that the Nationals were great year round. With headlines like “Nationals are virtually unbeatable in their Navy Blue alternate uniforms” and “Nationals Stun Astros in Game 2 to Seize Control” from the Washington Post and the New York Times, respectively. It seems like they fully support this team in their endeavor, right?
Their 19-31 win loss record at the beginning of the season would beg to differ.
Back in May, the Nationals were looking straight on at their worst season yet, and their fans knew it too:
“This is what happens when Bryce leaves. Not that I miss him”
-Anonymous Reddit User
“They should make a trade offer for a AAA bullpen”
-Anonymous Commentor on a Washington Times Article
“it probably can’t [sic] get worse from here”
-Anonymous Reddit User
The Nationals fan base was at a low point.
Even journalists were taking shots at the Nats with headlines like “Nationals show signs of life” from the Washington Post.
But, by some stroke of luck, the Nats got their game together and managed to barely squeak into the wild card slot of the playoffs.
And even though Nats fans should be happy, some of them have other concerns at the moment.
Many of the comments that have criticized the Nationals have been deleted, but some are still up.
One Instagram user had a comment they made at the beginning of October posted on many Nationals fanbases:
“The ALCS instead of the WS is going to be the best series of the playoffs potentially matchup wise like the rockets-warriors instead of the final”
(For context, the ALCS is the American League Championship Series, a seven game series played with the Yankees and Astros, and the WS is the World Series.)
Even after winning the National League Championship four games to none, people were still doubting that the Nationals would be able to take even one game against the Astros because of how their season started.
While there are certainly Nationals fans who are regretting what they said, there are also those who are laughing back on themselves.
“In May, when they were 19 and 31, I really thought there was no way they could make the playoffs,” said one fan. “But if they came back to win the World Series, it would be one of the greatest comebacks.”
Nationals fans are cautiously optimistic about the playoffs. D.C. sports have had quite a history of losing when it matters most, and Nats fans know this.
The World Series is still ongoing and it’s been quite the display of talent (especially considering that the D.C. team has one of the youngest rosters in MLB), with the Nats currently sitting at 3-2 favoring the Astros.
Even if the Nationals lose, it will still be by far the most impressive season for this team.