If you have been a follower of the Washington Nationals for longer than six months, you know they have a habit of blowing leads late. If you have been a follower of the Nationals since 2018, you know the Nationals have gone through dozens of relievers trying to piece together a productive bullpen. The 2021 version, however, has accomplished something no team in modern MLB history has ever done before.
The bottom has officially dropped out for the Nationals. An 8-18 record in July lead to a fire sale at the trade deadline. A 7-20 record in August dropped the team to a season worst twenty-one games below .500. Now, the record books have been re-written.
With a record of 6-13 against the Philadelphia Phillies on the year, including eight straight losses, it’s how the Nationals have lost which is the most unnverving.
The Nationals could have easily finished 13-6 against the Nationals. In seven of the losses they held a lead of at least three runs, then failed to hold it. Never in the history of the game has this happened before. Never.
The Nationals made history against the Phillies when they blew their six run lead and eventually lost.
In game two of the series, the Nationals held leads of 3-0 and 5-2, and they were unable to hold them. In the series finale, they led 6-0, half way through the game. Then, as they say, the wheels fell off, in losing 7-6.
Statistics like these are the things the media latch onto when a team makes a deep run in the postseason, on the Phillies side of things. Statistics like these are the reasons teams inherit nicknames like the Cardiac Kids. The Phillies may very well be a playoff team, and the way Bryce Harper is playing, may very well be the MVP of the league.
For a team in a downward spiral, statistics like this are just footnotes. Reasons why the season went the way it did. This may go down in the record books, seven games against one opponent losing after having at least a three run lead, though it won’t be something people dwell on. This was bound to happen to a team tanking, against a team peaking at the right time.
The good thing about baseball, they keep statistics for everything. This one will get buried so far deep in the annals we’ll have forgotten about it by the time the Nationals rebuild has turned into a playoff contender again.