WASHINGTON -- The 2019 season will go down as perhaps the most memorable season in Nationals history, an unlikely rise from 19-31 and a season slipping away in May to a World Series championship in October.
MLB.com is counting down the top 10 moments for each club, including this historic Nationals season, which featured a ton of emotional highs and lows on the pursuit of a title:
1. Nationals win the World Series
Oct. 30 vs. Astros
Once again, the Nationals found themselves in a hole they needed to find their way out of. They trailed in the decisive Game 7 against the Astros, trailed 3-2 in the World Series, and they needed to do something no team in MLB history had ever pulled off. And in that 6-2 victory, Max Scherzer was gutsy, Anthony Rendon was calm and collected, Howie Kendrick came up with another huge hit and the Nats were soon celebrating. They won their first World Series championship in franchise history after surviving one of the most improbable journeys in MLB history:
2. Nationals win the National League pennant
Oct. 15 vs. Cardinals
Nationals manager Dave Martinez summed it up perfectly on the stage after his club advanced to the first World Series in team history: “Often, bumpy roads lead to beautiful places. This is a beautiful place." Washington swept St. Louis in the NL Championship Series, and with a 7-4 victory in Game 4, the Nats clinched the World Series appearance that D.C. had long been waiting for.
3. Washington advances to NLCS
Oct. 9 vs. Dodgers
The words “Game 5” carried such a negative connotation in Washington for so long -- until Kendrick erased them with one swing. His grand slam in extra innings of Game 5 of the NL Division Series put the Nationals ahead 7-3 and secured the first postseason series victory in Nats history. To even get to that point, they rallied from down two runs in the eighth inning of an elimination game before Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto connected with back-to-back homers off Clayton Kershaw. And the rest was history.
4. Nationals win NL Wild Card Game
Oct. 1 vs. Brewers
In his first career postseason game, Juan Soto created a lasting memory at Nationals Park, flipping a single into right field against the toughest left-handed reliever in baseball, Josh Hader, which led to three runs and the Nationals snatching a 4-3 victory out of the jaws of defeat in the NL Wild Card Game. It was the first of five elimination games that the Nats would survive that postseason, and the first time a winner-take-all game at Nationals Park ended with such glee.
5. Washington clinches postseason berth
Sept. 24 vs. Phillies
The Nationals gathered on the mound to watch as their fate was sealed. They had just swept a doubleheader from the Phillies with a 6-5 win that Tuesday night at Nationals Park, and along with the fans still remaining inside the stadium, they watched the final outs of a Cubs-Pirates game -- the result of which would put the Nats in the postseason as a Wild Card team for the first time in club history. Washington's players raced into the clubhouse to celebrate, but little did they know, it would be their first of five celebrations to come in the ensuing month.
6. Epic comeback vs. Mets
Sept. 3 vs. Mets
Of all the memorable comebacks the Nationals made last season, none was more memorable than this one, when they stormed back from down six runs in the ninth inning to pull off a stunning 11-10 victory against the division-rival Mets. Washington gave up five runs in the top of the ninth, but it responded, as seven of the eight batters who came to the plate reached base, capped off with a walk-off three-run homer from Kurt Suzuki.
7. Corbin pays tribute to Skaggs
July 2 vs. Marlins
After the sudden death of his best friend, Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, Patrick Corbin put on his best tribute on the mound. He wore Skaggs' No. 45 on his back and wrote the number in the dirt on the back of the mound before delivering seven brilliant innings of one-run ball with seven strikeouts. After the Nationals' 3-2 victory, Corbin broke down and cried when remembering his friend in one of the most emotional moments of the Nats' season.
8. Scherzer dominates with broken nose
June 19 vs. Phillies
How to make Scherzer’s intimidating scowl even more menacing? Add in a broken nose and a black eye and an angry ace after he fouled a ball of his face during batting practice the day prior. Of course, Scherzer still took the mound, and when he did, he shut down the Phillies with 10 strikeouts in seven shutout innings to lead the Nats to a 2-0 win.
9. Barrett returns to the mound
Sept. 7 at Braves
In one of the best and most emotional moments of this magical Nationals season, Aaron Barrett returned to the mound for his first appearance in a game since Aug. 5, 2015. He lost four years of his career to arm injuries and finally made it back after countless hours of rehab for this moment, which included a strikeout of Braves superstar Ronald Acuña Jr. In the dugout after tossing a scoreless inning in a 5-4 Nats loss, Barrett broke down in tears.
10. Turner hits for cycle for second time in his career
July 24 vs. Rockies
Once again, Trea Turner did it against the Rockies. With his combination of power and elite speed, Turner seems capable of breaking out for this kind of performance at any point, and he became just the 26th player in MLB history to hit for the cycle twice in his career during this 11-1 win against Colorado.