September 17, 2021

The Nationals are still up in the Series, but Saturday could mean … everything (The Athletic)

WASHINGTON — Stoicism in defeat is often understandable, especially in a game like baseball, where there’s almost always another chance to right the wrong in less than 24 hours.

That works for the Washington Nationals. The trouble is, the next game, Game 4 of the World Series, might well be the most important one in their franchise’s history.

After five-plus months of battling and scraping to get back into the playoff race — and, winning, to the tune of eight straight postseason games and 18 of their previous 20 overall — a loss felt odd. But you can’t exactly say it was a shock to drop a game to the team with the best record in baseball this season. The Houston Astros are pretty damn good, after all. But falling in front of a raucous sellout crowd at Nationals Park on Friday, 4-1, in a city that’s been building up its anticipation for what looks like the most amazing of stories, still felt discordant. From the outside,…

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