1. I’m Still Trying to Process This
I’ve had this article open in drafts since Tuesday night, and I just couldn’t figure out what to say. As a long-suffering fan, I’m still in disbelief. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled about the Washington Nationals finally getting past the NLDS, and in utter disbelief that they won the NLCS. Especially considering they beat the St. Louis Cardinals this time after the Cards came from behind to win the 2012 NLDS and could be blamed for starting this era of suffering. It’s good to have Stephen Strasburg this time and along with Max Scherzer, they are a formidable force. The offense, including Ryan Zimmerman and Gerardo Parra, has found its stride, and I’m just along for the ride at this point.
2. Bring on the Astros
The internet seems excited that the Nats are playing the Houston Astros in the World Series because they share a spring training complex, but I see it as more than that. The two didn’t play each other as the Nats played the AL Central in interleague play this summer. Therefore, the Nats don’t have any bad memories against Houston (as opposed to the Cardinals or LA Dodgers), and will get to start the series on a fresh note.
Starting the series in an AL park gives manager Davey Martinez the option to have Zimmerman’s bat in the lineup as the DH but keep him off his feet in the field and put Matt Adams at first base to keep his bat in the order as well. Scherzer won’t be thrilled that he doesn’t get to hit, but if that’s the clubhouse’s worst problem for Game 1, I think they’ll be in good shape.
3. Age is Just a Number
Juan Soto is still only 20 years old. He’s the youngest player on the team and his 21st birthday is Oct. 25, which happens to be Game 4. He has had a great time celebrating with sparkling grape juice so far this post-season, but celebrating his birthday, and a win could just make it that much better. The Nats will be home for Games 3, 4, and 5 (if necessary) before potentially heading back to Houston for Games 6 and 7.
For comparison, Fernando Rodney is 42-years-old. NLCS MVP Howie Kendrick, Kurt Suzuki, and Aníbal Sánchez are all 35-years-old.
It just goes to show that age is but a number, and you need energetic youngsters, and a handful of seasoned veterans to be a successful team in the playoffs.
4. Baby Shark
Ha, it’s suck in your head again, now, isn’t it? Mid-season acquisition Parra has given the Nats their anthem. From the organ playing “Baby Shark” during the game to the stuffed shark hanging in the dugout to the players giving the shark chomp to the dugout when they get a hit, this team is quite the gam, the term for a group of sharks as Nats social media has informed us. I would like to see some sharks descend into Houston, as this team needs their unofficial mascot anywhere they go now.