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Merry Clinchmas


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By Maddie McNamee

Sentry Staff Reporter

On September 16, 2014, the Washington Nationals had all of DC celebrating a Merry Clinchmas. Winning a 3-0 shutout against second place team, the Atlanta Braves, the Nats pushed ahead 12 ½ games with only 12 games left to play, earning the National League East division title, securing themselves a spot for some October baseball in the playoffs.

Tanner Roark pitched a tremendous game, allowing no runs, along with the help of pitchers Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen. Not only was the defense on point, but so was the offense. In the sixth inning, the Braves pitcher, Aaron Harang, walked right fielder Jayson Werth. Up came Ian Desmond, the shortstop, who crushed a home run, putting Washington up 2-0. Then again in the eighth inning Desmond scored, this time off of a wild pitch. Second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera caught the final out, leading to a champagne filled party in, the clubhouse for the Nationals.

This was the Nationals second time winning this title in the past three years, clearing changing the reputation for DC sports. Sophomore and Ian Desmond fanatic, Carly Grand, is excited about the success of the team.

“The Nats have set the bar really high [for DC sports], creating a higher standard that other teams now have to live up to,” said Grand.

Grand believes Ian Desmond has contributed the most to the Nats successful  season, for he has had 24 home runs.

“[Desmond] is always a team player. His good looks are pretty nice too” said Grand.

The Nationals may have been partying in Atlanta, but this win had fans at home in DC celebrating too. Sophomore, and dedicated baseball fan, Michael Halsted, was in his living room jumping up and down when they clinched.

“It’s a chance to win big with a complete team, something they’ve never had before” said Halsted.

As aforementioned, this was the National’s second time in the playoffs, their first was in 2012. The team changed a lot since then, even getting a new manager, Matt Williams, who Halsted thinks was a major contribution to their fantastic season.

“Everybody is grinding out at-bats, not just one guy. The pitching rotation is the best there is, the bullpen is absolutely lights out, but it’s been Matt Williams and his attention to detail [who has gotten the Nats to this point]” said Halsted.

Becoming the NL East champions is not the Nationals only victory, for they also earned the best record in the National League. Many fans have different views on who should have been chosen for the starting pitching jobs. Williams ended up choosing Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmerman, Doug Fister and Gio Gonzalez for his starting lineup.

The Nationals started off the division series rough losing the first to games to the San Francisco Giants, the second went into eighteen innings, the longest postseason game in history. This left Washington in a stressful position, having to win the next three games in order to move on. Doug Fister pitched an incredible game, giving the Nats the win they needed, but unfortunately they lost the next game 3-2 due to multiple errors, ending their season. It was a shame the Nationals could not move past the first round, and were officially eliminated to a team they beat numerous times in the regular season. The Washington Nationals have had a fantastic season and will be coming back in the spring stronger than ever, ready to clinch another NL East title.

 

Featured Image by Alex Brandolino

 

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Merry Clinchmas