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Nationals vs. Cardinals: A seven-game 2019 regular season history lesson

Nationals vs. Cardinals: A seven-game 2019 regular season history lesson

After Howie Kendrick's historic 10th inning grand slam, the Nationals have won their first postseason series ever and advance to the NLCS to face the St. Louis Cardinals.

The birds just topped the Atlanta Braves in five games, but the Nationals have a storied history with St. Louis within their few postseason stories to tell. In what might as well be referred to as the game that shall not be named, the Cardinals posted the largest comeback ever in an elimination playoff game against the Nats in Game 5 of the 2012 NLDS. There are quite a few players -- and of course fans -- who were part of that game for both teams seven years ago. This could add fuel to the Nationals fire and desire to go further than they've ever been before.

With that in mind, it's time to get back to 2019 and take another look at how the two teams dueled this year.

1. Game 28: Washington (12-15) vs. St. Louis (18-10). Monday, April 29

Result: Cardinals win 6-3

Season series: Cardinals lead 1-0

How it Happened: Coming off two back-to-back daytime extra innings performances (one loss and win), the Nationals were tired. Washington got out early by putting up three in the third inning but failed to respond when Harrison Bader’s home run triggered a plethora of runs scored by St. Louis in the fifth inning. Corbin gave up six hits over five innings; Miller, Suero and Grace each gave up one. 

2. Game 29: Washington (12-16) vs St. Louis (19-10). Tuesday, April 30

Result: Cardinals win 3-2

Season series: Cardinals lead 2-0

How it Happened: Wainwright locked it down for the Cardinals, only letting two score through seven innings pitched via Eaton and Robles home runs in the third inning. St. Louis immediately responded in the third, toppled Washington for the lead, and nobody reached home again that Tuesday evening.

3. Game 30: Washington (12-18) vs St. Louis (20-10). Wednesday, May 1

Result: Cardinals win 5-1

Season series: Cardinals lead 3-0

How it Happened: Scherzer tallied his fourth loss of the season with three earned runs in the first inning. The Nationals only managed to bring one home against Mikolas on a fielder’s choice, handing the Cardinals their fifth straight win.

4. Game 31: Washington (12-19) vs St. Louis (21-10). Thursday, May 2

Result: Nationals win 2-1

Season series: Cardinals lead 3-1

How it Happened: The Nationals finally get everything together to muster a win in front of the home crowd to end this brutal series. In this game, Stephen Strasburg became the fastest pitcher in league history to reach 1,500 strikeouts with the nine he tallied over 6.2 innings pitched Thursday. After an RBI single in the third, the Nationals retake the lead by one in the fourth inning and never look back, anxious for victory.

5. Game 149: Washington (82-67) vs St. Louis (84-66). Monday, September 16

Result: Cardinals win 4-2

Season series: Cardinals lead 4-1

How it Happened: Marcell Ozuna dominated this game in St. Louis with four RBIs and even threw out Cabrera at home after Zimmerman scored on Robles’ single to put the Nationals on board. Anthony Rendon efforted a solo homer to tie it up, but Ozuna powered Fowler and Goldschmidt home to take the lead and game, handing the loss to Doolittle. The Nationals were 10 games back after losing to the NL Central king Cardinals.

6. Game 150: Washington (83-67) vs St. Louis (84-67). Tuesday, September 17

Result: Nationals win 6-2

Season series: Cardinals lead 4-2

How it Happened: This is the last win the Nationals had over the Cardinals, thanks to strong pitching and Howie Kendrick’s hot bat. Kendrick was a triple shy of the cycle, and St. Louis failed to tack on any earned runs on Corbin for an unreal 6.0

7. Game 151: Washington (84-67) vs St. Louis (84-68). Wednesday, September 18

Result: Cardinals win 5-1

Season series: Cardinals lead 5-2

How it Happened: The Cardinals had officially led the NL Central for one month at this point. In arguably Scherzer’s worst outing of the regular season this year, Mad Max mustered 11 strikeouts but five earned runs over 6.2 innings pitched. Wainwright almost silenced the Nationals had it not been for Trea Turner’s RBI double in the seventh. 

The Nationals take on the Cardinals in Game 1 of the NLCS Friday, Oct. 11 at 8:08 p.m. on TBS.

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On this date: The Nationals played their first game ever

On this date: The Nationals played their first game ever

It seems like eons ago that the Washington Nationals played in their first game after departing from Montreal.

Saturday marks the 15th anniversary of their inaugural game as they brought professional baseball back to the District of Columbia.

The Nationals opened up the 2005 season on the road at Citizens Bank Park with a matchup against their future rival in the Phillies.

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The game didn't go as planned for Nats manager Frank Robinson, with his squad dropping the first game of their 162-game slate with a defeat, but it was a return to normalcy for baseball fans in the nation's capital who had longed for a team to root for since the Senators left town 34 years prior.

The Phillies beat the Nats 8-4 on Opening Day, but for fans in the District, there was now a team to cheer on when they returned home a few days later for the home opener at RFK Stadium.

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Nats GM Mike Rizzo displays Commissioner's Trophy in neighborhood during quarantine

Nats GM Mike Rizzo displays Commissioner's Trophy in neighborhood during quarantine

Now this is the type of content we love to see. 

Nationals GM Mike Rizzo found a pretty cool yet responsible way to bring some cheer to his neighborhood in the midst of social distancing on Thursday. 

On the day that should have been the Nats’ 2020 home opener Washington’s GM Mike Rizzo displayed the World Series trophy in the window of his home in Navy Yard.

According to The Washington Post’s reporter Barry Svrluga, Rizzo’s gesture was “in honor of Opening Day!” 

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Of course, fans loved this idea. I mean who wouldn’t? 

Fans passing by even stopped to take a picture with the trophy. 

Although we were all thrilled to return to Nationals Park to celebrate the defending World Champions, Rizzo’s trophy display was a way to spread some joy until we can reunite again. 

On a recent conference call Rizzo told reporters, “This is going to be a very, very special Opening Day for us when it happens, so we still have that to look forward to... On the brighter side, the glass half full view is that we’re the reigning world champions and we still are clutching hard to that trophy. We’ve got ourselves a banner-raising ceremony coming, we’ve got ourselves some beautiful rings that we’re going to be able to wear around D.C. in the very near future, so although we’re thinking daily and hourly about the humanity of what’s going on right now, we also have that to look forward to when we get through this thing and we come out the other side and baseball begins again.”

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