The Washington Nationals made history Tuesday night, proceeding to their first World Series in franchise history. The Nationals jumped on the Cardinals early, scoring seven runs in the first inning, and won 7-4 to complete the NLCS sweep.
The Nationals are 8-2 in the postseason and have won six straight overall.
“It’s one of these situations where teams just kind of get hot,” TBS and MLB Network Host Casey Stern alleged on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “I thought the Nationals would win the division before the year began. It clearly didn’t (start) that way through 50 games, but I think in part because of the fact they rallied around Dave (Martinez), but the timing of that and the rallying around him as a person, it seemed to put everybody in a different perspective. Once the pitching got underway during the course of the season, even without Max (Scherzer) at his best, you saw how good they were.”
The Cardinals scored just two runs – one earned – in the first three games of the series.
They scored four runs in Game 4, but only after getting behind 7-0.
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“Everybody’s going to talk about the fact that the Cardinals couldn’t hit – and they didn’t – but everybody on the Nationals hit,” Stern said. “And it’s very rare in the postseason, regardless of what team it is, even the Astros or the Yankees, where you see up and down the lineup everyone getting hot. It was not just (Anthony) Rendon and (Juan) Soto, but the top of the order. (Trea) Turner was huge today. (Howie) Kendrick, a guy who was making terrible errors a week ago and then hit a grand slam, and no one’s gotten him out since. And then you think about guys like (Victor) Robles and (Yan) Gomes. They’re on fire.”
And Bryce Harper, it is worth noting, is nowhere to be found. “When he left, I feel like you saw everybody kind of look at each other and say, ‘Now it’s more like what can we all do?’” Stern said. “Rendon became a guy that they kind of centered around, but they were centering around a guy who was quiet, who wasn’t saying anything. It’s not an anti-Bryce thing; I just think everybody else kind of found themselves and elevated.”