In case you haven’t heard, the 2019 MLB season is officially in the books. We had the pleasure of watching it end with a World Series Game 7, which also included a late-game comeback by the newly-crowned world champions, the Washington Nationals.
Once Daniel Hudson struck out Michael Brantley to officially begin the celebrating, tons of incredible stats and facts were produced about the Nats pushing past the mighty Houston Astros. Washington won all four of its games on the road, which had never been done before. Howie Kendrick provided incredible late-game heroics, Juan Soto amassed an eye-popping series performance for someone who just turned 21, and Stephen Strasburg ended up winning World Series MVP honors.
It’s also worth pointing out again that this was the first time Washington even advanced in the playoffs, let alone winning the whole dang thing. The first title in franchise history and the first title for DC since 1924 sure is a memorable one.
But how exactly can we put what they just did in perspective? Let’s try with the following tweets:
— Ryan M. Spaeder (@theaceofspaeder) October 31, 2019
That pretty much sums it up, but as he usually does, Jayson Stark gives a terrific comparison of just how bad that 19-31 start was for the Nationals:
On May 23, the Nationals were 12 games under .500 – the same as the Tigers.
The Tigers went on to lose 114 games.
The Nationals went on to win the World Series.
What. A. Story.
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) October 31, 2019
These stats and facts wouldn’t be complete without checking out Washington’s championship odds amidst that rough start. Literally nobody expected them to be hoisting the World Series trophy back in May:
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) October 31, 2019
Honestly, though, this is the beauty of baseball. Washington had to play like the best team in baseball between then and the end of the regular season just to reach the 93-win plateau and host the NL Wild Card game.
And it’s not like them having their backs up against the wall stopped once the calendar flipped to October, as Tyler Kepner of the New York Times detailed:
The Nats trailed by 2 in the 8th against Josh Hader in the wild card game. They trailed by 2 in the 8th against Clayton Kershaw in Game 5 of the NLDS. They trailed by 2 against Zack Greinke in the 7th inning of Game 7 of the WS. They stayed in the fight.
— Tyler Kepner (@TylerKepner) October 31, 2019
Let’s not forget that the Brewers were among baseball’s hottest teams in September, while the Dodgers finished the regular season with 106 wins and the Astros finished with 107 victories.
Every World Series-winning club earns the right to party with that coveted trophy. But man, Washington earned every bit of the champagne that flowed in the visiting clubhouse at Minute Maid Park on Wednesday night.
About Matt Musico
Matt Musico currently manages Chin Music Baseball and contributes to The Sports Daily. His past work has been featured at numberFire, Yahoo! Sports and Bleacher Report. He’s also written a book and created an online class about how to get started as a sports blogger. Check those out and more helpful tips on sports blogging at his website.