With the convincing win over the visiting New York Mets, the 2020 season has officially concluded for the Washington Nationals.
Close the book on the 2020 regular season. Or rather slam the book shut, in the case of the Washington Nationals.
Whether you believe this was a real season or not, the 60-game marathon has reached the finish line. At least as far as the Washington Nationals are concerned.
Entering the final game of the year, there was some drama to be worked out. Would Juan Soto hold onto his slim lead for the best batting average in the National League? He would. Would Trea Turner finish the year with the most hits in the majors? He would. Would Andrew Stevenson secure a knock and finish the year with an 12-game hitting streak. He would.
There were other small storylines along the way, though some of them we won’t know the answer to until free agency concludes. Will this be the last time Asdrubal Cabrera or Kurt Suzuki put on a Nationals uniform? Injured players are not allowed in the dugout, so Howie Kendrick and Sean Doolittle may have donned the colors for the last time weeks ago.
If you didn’t know where the Nationals stood in the standings at the beginning of the day, and you looked at the batting averages of the top three hitters at the end of the day, you would be deceived.
Stevenson and his .366 average has come in just 41 at-bats. Turner’s .336 average and Soto’s .351, have carried the team. They rank 1 and 2 in several offensive categories, though they have not gotten much help from others.
A better gauge of how the Nationals year has gone would be to look at the ERA of the starting pitcher for the last two games. Anibal Sanchez at 6.62 and Austin Voth at 6.34.
Where the hitting did most of the heavy lifting this year, the pitching was unable to carry the load. Injuries and inconsistent play derailed the season from the start.
All of these are just statistics now. Let them be stored away at baseball-reference.com, and focus on the offseason and the season ahead. When we hope our boys can take the field for 162 games, in front of screaming and yelling fans, and defend the 2019 World Series Title the way they were supposed to this year.