Washington sports fans are used to heartbreak. See the Washington Nationals circa 2012-2017. They are used to title droughts. See the Washington Mystics circa 1998-2018. And they are used to teams that give them no hope. See the Washington Redskins and Washington Wizards circa…now.
This past week gave Washington sports fans something to cheer about again. The Washington Mystics, the city’s WNBA franchise, joined the Washington Capitals (2018 NHL champions) in the ultimate winner’s circle.
The Mystics defeated the Connecticut Sun 89-78 in Washington Thursday in the deciding Game 5 of the WNBA Finals. Finals MVP Elena Delle Donne scored 21 points and had 9 rebounds, and teammate Emma Meesseman had 21 to secure Washington’s first WNBA title.
Across the country one night earlier, the Washington Nationals had their own first — a Game 5 victory in the National League Division Series. Watchdog reporter Robus Sobus recapped the game.
By Robert Sobus
What Just Happened: The Washington Nationals rallied from behind to defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-3 in Game 5 of the National League Division Series.
The Game Was Over When: Nationals second baseman Howie Kendrick hit a grand slam in the top of the 10th inning, giving the Nationals a 7-3 lead.
Key Statistic: The Nationals became the first team in Major League history to win an elimination game twice in the playoffs after being down by three or more runs in the same postseason.
What’s Next: The Nationals travel to St. Louis to take on the Cardinals in the NLCS. Game 1 is Friday.
Howie Kendrick’s grand slam against the Los Angeles Dodgers Wednesday sent the Washington Nationals to the National League Championship Series.
All year long, the Nationals have come from behind to win games. Wednesday night’s National League Division Series Game 5 was no different.
Kendrick came to the plate in the top of the 10th inning against his former team in a tied game looking to make a grand statement.
“I was hoping for any moment,” said Kendrick. “It was electric. Probably the best moment of my career.”
With the bases loaded, Kendrick hit a grand slam to propel the Nationals to a 7-3 win over the Dodgers that sends Washington to its first-ever NLCS.
Los Angeles looked to put the Nationals away early. After Joc Pederson hit a ground rule double, Max Muncy nailed a home run off Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg to give the Dodgers an early 2-0 lead in the first.
Strasburg gave up yet another home run to Dodgers outfielder Enrique Hernandez. But it was the last run the Dodgers would have in 2019.
Throughout the postseason the Nationals have had big plays come from multiple players.
The Nationals’ first run came in the sixth inning when Juan Soto hit a single off Dodgers pitcher Walker Buehler to bring home Anthony Rendon.
In 2019 Nationals fashion, Rendon and Soto hit back-to-back home runs in the eighth inning off Clayton Kershaw to tie the game at 3-3.
“It’s not just one player, it’s a team,” Soto said.
The Nationals came back after being down 2-1 in the series against the Dodgers.
“Oh, man, keep fighting,” Rendon said. “I think that’s the story of maybe this organization.”
The Nationals will look to carry momentum when they play the St. Louis Cardinals. Game 1 of the NLCS takes place Friday night at Busch Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 8:08 p.m. EST.