After shocking 2021 season, ending still feels like post-season streak for Washington Nationals
It’s the closest thing we’ll see to playoff baseball in 2021.
A year that began with such high hopes that collapsed on the major league trade deadline, and has been entirely devoted to rebuilding ever since, ends with the potential end of their opponents’ season by the Nationals. from Washington.
What if they couldn’t shoot down the Boston Red Sox Friday, losing 4-2, they will have another chance on Saturday and a third on Sunday. Any of those games could prove crucial in the American League Wild Card four-team race.
We know that the 2021 Nationals season will end after Sunday’s game, and just October 2 since the victory of the World events, few fans really care about them or the Miami Marlins finish last in the National East League.
We know Juan Soto’s chances of winning the National League batting title are all but lost after falling 3 for 20 and a basic error on Friday night that also didn’t help his MVP bid. from NL.
This all ends a season that started with legitimate hopes for another division title, and included a shootout outside the national park that resulted in near-panic, a five-game winning streak that kept hopes unreasonably high. high, a trade deadline purge that saw those hopes crumble and burn, and an assortment of pains and joys growing with a young, rebuilding team.
But there you go, the last series of the season contains a cute little “Easter egg”, if you will.
For not only the disproportionately represented Red Sox nation, but for Nats fans, and truly all baseball fans: a series with playoff-level tension.
âTheyâre a playoff team, so weâll try to do what we can to take care of the business and win against them,â Andrew Stevenson told reporters after Friday’s game.
“It’s got a good crowd, the environment is great, there’s just that buzz in the air, and it’s getting a little cool, it’s starting to look like the playoffs again, so it brings back some great memories.”
It doesn’t matter whether the Nats have fought over the past two weeks against other long-term non-contenders, the Sox’s season is on the line this weekend and the Nats have no choice but to rise to the challenge. .
In a game of three games against a club in a four-team race, all separated by two games, a single game can make a difference.
The Red Sox must feel like anything but a Nats sweep will end their season, and Nationals fans must feel that eliminating another team from the playoffs would be a sweet enough end to one. season that turned desperate months ago.
âIt’s huge. The crowd was awesome tonight,â Friday starter Josh Rogers told reporters afterwards. âIt’s a play-off type environment. These guys are fighting for the game. life there so it’s a good learning experience for me.
For the Nationals to play this high-stakes game with a collection of young players trying to prove themselves, with a few veterans mentoring them, is all the more fun.
Ready or not, players who have not been in contention for months will have their most significant appearances and field chances this season this weekend as they get the chance to play a pivotal role in the season.
âAnytime you can have a team fighting for a playoff berth like they are, I think it’s going to improve our game a little bit,â Stevenson said. “Hopefully we can build on that for next year, enjoy these great moments that we could have in these next games and have a little fun with that next year.”
In April, we dreamed of Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg watching batters in playoff games.
Now we’ll have Josiah Gray and a pitcher to figure out who will watch the Red Sox in a game that could define the seasons for both teams.
For the Nats’ first full losing season in 10 years, that ending could have been worse.