The Nationals have been able to accomplish all goals in this series which started with winning at least four games to clinch the Wild Card and they did that with their third win of the series on Tuesday because the Cubs obliged with a loss leading to an earlier clinch. The Nats kept rolling and swept the Phillies in a 5-game series which is a rare feat. It is the first time the Nats have done that in franchise history. By sweeping the Phillies, they pushed them to a 79-80 losing record, and for the season, the Nationals record in head-to-head games against the Phillies is 14-5 which is incredible when you ponder how their first meeting went on April 2nd. All of this added up to the Nats 90th win of the season as the Nats are now 21 games above .500 and they did this on manager Dave Martinez’s 55th birthday.
These wins are happening at a time the Nats need it to earn the Home Field Advantage in the Wild Card game on Tuesday, and the Nats have a narrow 1.0 game lead over the Brewers for the HFA. The Indians come into town for the weekend series, and the Indians need to sweep for any chance to get a Wild Card berth of their own in the American League.
“Everyone keeps talking about Milwaukee, we might end up playing St. Louis [in the Wild Card],” Martinez said. “We got scouts flying all over God’s green earth to watch different teams play. ”
The Nats were able to rest Juan Soto and Adam Eaton today and their replacements combined for four hits as Michael Taylor was the offensive star and he finished a triple shy of a cycle, and Gerardo Parra had a “feel good” single. Asdrubal Cabrera was 2-2 with a home run, sacrifice fly, and a walk in the game as he continues to rake and has averaged one RBI in every Nats game he has played in. The Phillies robbed a few hits in this game including a 3-run home run from Yan Gomes as their centerfielder skied above the wall for the thievery.
In the postgame media session, Martinez said Stephen Strasburg had a slight cramp in his hamstring. He finished 6.0 innings on 92 pitches and gave up 1-run and will finish his 2019 season with a 3.32 ERA. Strasburg will certainly be in the Cy Young award discussions. Strasburg finished with 18 wins and 251 strikeouts on the season.
— MLB (@MLB) September 26, 2019