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Game 136 // Eighth Inning // The Nationals Are Alive

The Nats have just lost five in a row.

They’re 19-31. 

But tonight—something changed.




It was a sweep in four games by the Mets, coming into this.

Davey Martinez getting ejected. Nats fans calling for him to be fired. 

Writers saying a turnaround is “impossible”.




The first season without Bryce Harper. Murphy, Gonzalez, Roark and Ramos gone, too.

A shell of that perennial contender these past seven years…

As they creep closer, unbelievably, toward Marlinsville.





With no break in sight, even with the Marlins in town—after they just won six in a row.

Making people wonder, making them think outlandish thoughts.




And so tonight the Nats are down three runs in the middle innings, heading for another loss, as the fans everywhere tilt forward on the meltdown timeline. Heading for a summer of tuning out completely.

And then it gets worse:





As ugly as it can be, going into the 8th inning.

And then on cue, crunch time kicks off with that soul-crushing kind of strikeout.

Trea Turner, going down looking on a pitch below his knees.




Rock-bottom crashing into the living rooms of NatsWorld.

TV sets turning off.




But then.

But then.

The worst wriggled its way up into something. 

As these Nats, just barely, creep their way out of collapse.


Adam Eaton draws a walk. Then Anthony Rendon walks.

The Marlins make a double switch, and a bullpen change.




Juan Soto comes up, the 20-year-old star, with two men on.

Takes two pitches, fouls off a heater over the plate.

Then a 3-1 count, a 100-mph fastball right down the middle from Guerrero.


And… out of nowhere, there it is.

Home run to deep left-center.


Nats lead, 11-9.





Matt Adams comes up next, with the bases empty.

And he, too, gets the triple-digit mph fastball over the plate.

Then he, too, sends it into the stands.


12-9, Nationals ahead.




“The crowd’s going nuts,” they’re saying on the broadcast.

“They’re losing their minds right now at Nats Park!”





One of the most wild, back-and-forth games all year.

A tourniquet for the bleeding Nationals.


And, well—UPDATE: OCTOBER 30, 2019


The Nationals have won the World Series.




And the moment it all changed, was this game.


Twelves games below .500, then soaring from that point on.

47-42 by the All-Star Break, and the best team in baseball the rest of the way.





So remember this, Nats fans.


The night the dream season began.



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