With the MLB regular season wrapped up and the postseason field determined, the Washington Nationals will now embark on a journey that they hope will end with a World Series trophy.
But, even with a scorching hot second half the bumped the Nationals into the Wild Card Game, things won't come easy during the month of October. Not just because Washington is forced to play a do-or-die game on Tuesday followed by a potential matchup with the Los Angeles Dodgers, but because the MLB postseason has not been kind to the Nats in recent years.
Since 2012, Washington has appeared in the postseason four times. That's a pretty good showing. Yet, those teams all failed to make it past the League Divisional Series. For as long as the franchise has been the Washington Nationals, there have been no postseason series wins.
If you're basing this year on recent history, which isn't always accurate, it seems as if the odds are stacked against the Nats. But, wanting to break the mold of past seasons, the Nats are drawing inspiration for another D.C. team that just recently broke through: The Washington Capitals.
Despite constantly appearing in the playoffs, the Capitals could never get over the hump and head to the Stanley Cup Finals. That was until their championship run in 2018 that ended the drought.
Trying to do the same this October, the Nationals are looking to the Caps to replicate their success.
"They're inspirational," Eaton said of the Capitals. "I think that's always one reason why I've had a Caps hat in here. They've shown us that it's possible"
Eaton is a well-noted support of the local hockey team. Attending games and voicing support, he even gave props to Tom Wilson and his tenacity during a recent fight in preseason play. That tenacity from Wilson and other players is what has drawn Eaton to the Caps, and he's now bringing that same attitude to the Nationals.
"I try to bring that as well," Eaton said of the intensity. "They're very inspirational to us, they show what a bond of brothers and guys coming together as one can do in this city."
Carrying over lessons learned from the Capitals, Eaton and the Nats hope to turn it into a magical postseason run of their own. If that happens, they'll make sure to take one more page out of their playbook.
"The way they partied afterwards, I think everyone in this clubhouse would love to do as well," Eaton said. "We're not quite hockey players so I don't know if we're going to be swimming in any fountains in anything. But, hopefully, like I said, they'll inspire us to get there."
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