The Washington Nationals are your 2019 World Series champions, clinching the title Wednesday night with a Game 7, comeback win over the Astros in Houston. Well deserved. They vanquished a decade’s worth of postseason demons and finally can relate to the ecstasy that Marlins fans experienced in both 1997 and 2003.
NL East since 1993— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) October 31, 2019
Nats, Braves, Phillies: each
Even with the local team now 16 years removed from their last postseason berth, we can live vicariously through several former Fish.
Right-hander Aníbal Sánchez continued his late-career renaissance in 2019. He made good on the front end of a two-year, $19 million free agent deal, serving as Washington’s steady No. 4 starter. He didn’t add another no-hitter to his résumé, but came extremely close against the Cardinals in the NLCS. Those 7 2⁄3 dominant innings helped the Nats sweep that series and enter the Fall Classic as fresh and healthy as possible. Sánchez still ranks among the Marlins all-time leaders in innings pitched (sixth), games started (tied for fifth) and strikeouts (fifth).
The sign of a successful October run is that Washington seldom had to use Fernando Rodney. Signed off the scrap heap in June, the ageless Dominican reliever was actually very adequate through the rest of the regular season (4.05 ERA, 3.72 FIP in 33.1 IP). But he played with fire in the postseason, issuing nine walks in 4 2⁄3 innings. Including the Marlins, Rodney has pitched for six teams since 2016.
Remember Kyle Barraclough? Traded from Miami to the Nats last October for international bonus pool money, his stock was damaged though not destroyed by a 2018 second-half slump. Unfortunately, the offseason failed to straighten him out—even by Nats standards, his 6.66 ERA and 6.56 FIP in 25.2 IP was unacceptable. They cut him loose before the team found its groove. Nonetheless, he figures to receive a ring for his, uh...presence on the roster.
A mainstay in the Marlins front office who infamously served as interim manager for much of the 2015 season, Dan Jennings is now a special assistant to the general manager in Washington’s scouting department. And then there’s Jack McKeon. Closing in on his 89th(!) birthday, Trader Jack also got to partake in the celebration as a senior advisor to the GM.
Congrats to the Nats! I shared some additional thoughts about their accomplishment on the new Fish Bites episode.