There have been many ups and downs this season, from win streaks to placements on the disabled list. The team saw superstars Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman go down with lengthy injuries, both of whom play a key role in the team’s ability to hit for power. Regardless, the team continued to push on and played through the adversity only to get better as the season progressed. The team seemed to understand that the losses were key however; the men who stepped in did their job and earned the Nationals some key wins. Then, as the team got healthier and Harper and Zimmerman returned to the lineup, the Nats looked better than ever. In fact, the Nats had been producing so well offensively that when Bryce Harper returned to the lineup he was put in the underwhelming 6 spot, showing how deadly the Nats offense was.
Additionally, the Nats pitching staff showed great improvement as the year progressed. Doug Fister, acquired by the Nationals from Detriot this offseason, stepped up this year winning 16 games and posting an impressive 2.41 ERA. Fister along with regulars Gio Gonzalez, Stephen Strasberg, and Jordan Zimmerman make this pitching rotation a fierce power heading into October. Additionally, closer Drew Storen has shown great strides this season, earning 11 saves and boasting a 1.11 ERA. As we saw last year with the Red Sox’ Koji Uehara, a dominant closer is imperative in a deep postseason run, and the Nationals believe they have one in Storen.
So the stage is set: the Nats have all the components of a World Series team, in fact there are few teams left who seem to pose a big threat to the Nats title contention. One of the few, however, would make for a very interesting series. The Baltimore Orioles battle for the AL’s #1 spot, but show signs of greatness as the team has taken on the MLB’s best teams and handled them with care. As for a Nats-O’s fall classic, what more could you ask for? This subway series would be jam packed with high scoring battles and exciting finishes, likely making it a series for the ages.
But before we can plan for the beltway series, the Nats must get through some tough NL opponents. This year, however, the Nats appear to be a team capable of doing so, finally bringing a banner to the Nation’s capital.