The Washington Nationals are your 2017 NL East champions. How did this team make the season look easy? Here are five reasons they repeated.
The Washington Nationals repeated as National League East champions for the first time.
With a 20-game margin, they closed out the Miami Marlins Sunday with a win against the Philadelphia Phillies and a Marlin blown save in Atlanta versus the Braves. For the fourth time in six years, the Nats make the playoffs becoming the first team in Major League Baseball to punch a ticket for October.
It was difficult, despite the eventual winning margin, and sometimes the postseason road carried too many unexpected bends. Yet, the road to the World Series will run through Washington. As the Los Angeles Dodgers wheeze to the finish line, the Nats have an outside shot at securing the NL’s best record.
So, how did the Nats crush the East and win? Is this the first squad in 49 franchise years to win 100 games? They are on pace for it with only three games against the Dodgers left against winning teams.
Forget October. Those pressure-packed nights will happen soon enough. Instead, go back to the end of the 2009 season. The Nats finished at 59-103 with a .364 winning percentage, their worst season in DC and in franchise history since 1976. Could you imagine that October the success three years away?
With four division titles, these Nats are more successful in six years than the old Senators were in two different franchises over 72 seasons. Yeah, this IS the golden age of baseball in Washington.
How did the Nats do it? Let’s take a closer look.