Many fans of rival NL East teams love to remind Washington Nationals fans that our favorite team has never won a postseason series. Here are some facts to use while crafting a response.
“The Washington Nationals have never won a playoff series.”
Even if the Nationals win the 2019 NL East race by 50 games while going 19-0 against their favorite team, a rival fan is bound to throw Washington’s current record of postseason futility in your face on social media. An Atlanta Braves fan pointed it out to me as recently as last Wednesday.
My purpose isn’t to single out a specific Twitter user who undoubtedly loves his favorite team as much as we do ours. The objective is to help other Nats fans endure the inevitable Facebook, Twitter and Instagram shouting matches that will help entertain baseball fans the next six months.
Let’s start off with a simple question: which NL East fanbases can use postseason statistics against the D.C. faithful?
It’s definitely not Braves fans. Atlanta hasn’t won a postseason series since 2001, four years before the Nationals played their first game in the nation’s capital. Including 2012’s NL Wild Card Game defeat, the Braves have lost a staggering eight consecutive postseason series while winning their post-Nats division titles in 2005, 2013 and 2018. The Washington Nationals lost all four postseason series in that span, but won more division titles (in 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2017) than the Braves.
Having lived in Florida since 2016, I’ve yet to be accosted in person or online by a Miami Marlins fan. That’s probably because the Fish haven’t won the NL East or appeared in the postseason since baseball returned to D.C. Interestingly enough, the Marlins have more World Series titles in South Florida than the Braves do in Atlanta, and are also (amazingly) the only team in baseball history to win every playoff series in which the franchise has appeared.
The New York Mets have won three postseason series since 2005, including a 2015 run to the World Series which was especially painful for the Washington Nationals, who spent most of that season in first place until a late summer collapse. The Mets haven’t done much since, but most of their fanbase at least remembers the taste of October success. The Mets also have two division titles in that span, in 2006 and the aforementioned 2015.
The Philadelphia Phillies are the only NL East team to win the World Series since the Washington Nationals moved to D.C. from Montreal. In addition to their 2008 world championship, the Phils returned to the World Series in 2009 and also swept Cincinnati in the 2010 NLDS. In all, Philadelphia has six postseason series wins and five division titles since baseball returned to Washington, although they finished with a better regular season record than Nationals since 2011.
To summarize: the only NL East teams to win a postseason series since 2005 are the Phillies and Mets. The only NL East team with more division titles in that span is Philadelphia. So while Braves and Marlins fans might try to use the postseason against Nationals fans online, they are devoid of factual support without using statistics from an era when Washington’s current franchise played in a different country.
While dealing with rival NL East fans, be sure to keep it civil while also standing your ground. Remember: someday – perhaps as early as this year – the Washington Nationals will make baseball fans in D.C., Virginia, Maryland and around the country proud during the sport’s most thrilling month: October.