Alden Gonzalez ESPN Staff Writer
The Nationals are going to "La Playa."
The Nationals are going to "La Playa."
With a lightsaber in one hand and champagne bottle in the other, Sean Doolittle is winning the Nats' NLCS celebration
Max Scherzer: (Perpetually) pumped.
Nationals! World Series bound.
Nationals manager Dave Martinez, from the stage: "Often bumpy roads lead to beautiful places, and this is a beautiful place."
The Nationals have advanced to the World Series.
The 2019 National League champion Washington Nationals
For the first time in franchise history, the Washington Nationals are going to the World Series. For the time since 1933, the World Series will be played in the nation's capital. The Nationals scored seven runs on just 21 pitches in a wild first inning and held on for a 7-4 victory -- the Cardinals even had the tying run at the plate when they loaded the bases in the eighth -- but with chants of "Let's go Nats!" echoing in the stadium, Daniel Hudson had a 1-2-3 ninth and the celebration was on.
The Nationals, 19-31 on May 23, are headed to the World Series. They are the fourth team in history to get there despite being 12 games under .500 at one point. And they did so in dominant fashion, never once trailing the Cardinals in this NLCS. The Nationals have now won 16 of their last 18 games. DC has its first World Series team since 1933.
And exhale, Nationals fans. After Daniel Hudson worked his way out of an eighth-inning bases-loaded jam, Washington is three outs from the franchise's first World Series appearance.
Several Astros pitchers told me they were showered with beer and almost hit by beer cans thrown from the stands into the visitor's bullpen. An Astros staff member said he saw a woman get hit by a beer can in the back of the head and apparently she had to be taken to get medical attention.
Bases loaded, two outs, three-run game in the eighth, and Daniel Hudson gets Matt Carpenter, the second-to-last player available off the Cardinals' bench, to ground out. Three outs left for the Nationals.
An ominous sign if you are a Cardinals fan. The Equipment Van is parked outside their clubhouse.
In the "anything can happen, because it's baseball" category, the Cardinals bullpen has kept the team in the game. Ryan Helsley and Giovanny Gallegos each threw two scoreless innings. The Cardinals will now face Sean Doolittle as Dave Martinez likely tries to get the final nine outs from Doolittle and Daniel Hudson. You also wonder: Is Max Scherzer a potential option for a batter or two if needed?
That's a huge sixth inning for Tanner Rainey. Not just to get the game into the seventh for Sean Doolittle and Daniel Hudson, who have had the last two nights off, but to potentially establish himself as a third trusted reliever going into the World Series. Dude throws 100.
Patrick Corbin struck out 10 through the first four innings, but allowed 3 additional runs and threw 32 pitches in the fifth. He's at 94 pitches, with four innings left and a three-run lead to protect. Will be interesting to see how Dave Martinez plays it the rest of the way.
The mood at Nationals Park went from countdown to celebration time to there's still plenty of baseball left to play as the Cardinals have suddenly made NLCS Game 4 interesting by cutting into the Nationals' lead.
Didi Gregorius, who went 0-for-4 and left 5 men on base, took full responsibility for the loss to the Astros tonight: “I didn't come through for the team when I had the opportunity, so I think that's why most of the game was on me. I was the one that failed, not the whole team.”
The Nationals are well on their way to joining the 2015 Mets and 2012 Tigers as the only teams in MLB history to never trail in a four-game LCS sweep. Of course, neither of those teams went on to win the World Series.
The Nationals scored 7 first-inning runs, 3 of which were unearned. They cranked out 6 hits and sent 11 batters to the plate. They are on another level right now.
The Nationals have already chased starter Dakota Hudson from NLCS Game 4 in the first inning with a five-run onslaught helped by a couple of costly defensive misplays by the Cardinals. It appears early that most of the night will be spent counting the outs until the champagne celebration begins.
The Nationals have jumped all over the Cardinals to begin this game. Seven of the first eight batters reached against Dakota Hudson, giving them a 5-0 lead and forcing Adam Wainwright into this game. The Nationals have led in 23 of the 28 innings in this series. The Cardinals have led in 0.
Nationals Park is absolutely rocking as Juan Soto's RBI double adds to the Nats' early lead in NLCS Game 4. Looks like it could be a long night for Dakota Hudson and the Cardinals.
And just like that, the Patrick Corbin and the Nationals will be playing with a lead in NLCS Game 1. After Trea Turner and Adam Eaton led off the night with hits, Anthony Rendon drove in the first run of the game with a sac fly to score Turner.
Wow. Patrick Corbin showed no signs in the first inning of being the one Nationals' starter not to have a good start in the NLCS. He mowed through the Cardinals' first three hitters with three strikeouts and the normally slider-heavy Corbin threw 11 fastballs in 13 pitches.