The Washington Nationals Fight For Wild Card Spot in 2019 Post Season

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The Washington Nationals Fight For Wild Card Spot in 2019 Post Season

The Washington Nationals remain second in the National League (NL) East division with hopes to keep the first wild card for the October postseason.

The 2019 Major League Baseball (MLB) season started off with a big change to the Washington Nationals lineup. The Nationals star right fielder, Bryce Harper, had just signed a 330 million dollar and 13 year contract with the Philadelphia Phillies with hopes to build his career in the MLB. The change was felt across the DC area, but the Nationals were determined to prove they were more than just one player.

Manager Dave Martinez added multiple new players to the team’s roster before the start of the 2019 season including second baseman Brian Dozier, and center fielder Gerardo Parra. Both Dozier and Parra regularly appear in the starting lineup, and bat an average of .234 and .215, respectively, as of Sept 19. 

The Nats ended a strong spring training with a win- loss record of 17-12. According to the MLB, the team played their highest scoring game of the preseason against the St. Louis Cardinals on only the second game of the year. The 12-2 win was pitched by returning starter, Erick Fedde, who allowed only four hits throughout the entirety of the game.

The regular season started off on a slow start, with two losses before their first win against the New York Mets at Nationals Park. The team was able to gain momentum throughout the first half of the regular season, and finish with 47 wins and 42 losses by Jul 7 [ESPN]. 

The Nationals gained ground on the National League (NL) East division leaders, the Atlanta Braves, throughout the second half of the regular season. The team had a win/loss record of 81-64 by the end of the second week of September. The month of August was the top month for the Nationals, with a winning percentage of .731 and a tied club record for the most home runs in a single game. 

The Nationals’ impressive record has brought widespread attention to its individual players behind the powerhouse lineup. Third baseman, Anthony Rendon, has the second highest batting average in the MLB, with a .330 as of Sept. 19. Rendon has also surpassed his 119th Runs Batted In (RBI), and has hit 34 home runs in the 2019 season. Juan Soto, a 20 year old left fielder from the Dominican Republic, is in his second year in the majors since his debut with the team in 2018. Soto has a career slugging average of .549, and has hit 55 home runs since his debut [Baseball Reference]. 

This year’s postseason begins on Oct 1, and the Nationals are determined to keep the fans engaged and excited throughout the remainder of the month. The franchise has launched the campaign, “Stay in the Fight,” in order to keep up attendance in the stands. The campaign gives back 15  dollars in food or merchandise credit for each home game ticket bought in the month of September. The franchise will also be holding merchandise giveaways throughout the remainder of the regular season.

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