Blue Jays: What can be learned from each of the final four

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 14: Max Scherzer #31 of the St. Louis Cardinals takes the field during player introductions before game three of the National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park on October 14, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 14: Max Scherzer #31 of the St. Louis Cardinals takes the field during player introductions before game three of the National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park on October 14, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
2 of 5
Next
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 09: Max Scherzer #31 of the Washington Nationals celebrates defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-3 in ten innings to win game five and the National League Division Series at Dodger Stadium on October 09, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 09: Max Scherzer #31 of the Washington Nationals celebrates defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-3 in ten innings to win game five and the National League Division Series at Dodger Stadium on October 09, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

Washington Nationals

The Nationals went from a team that looked like they were going to miss the playoffs this summer, to the first club to qualify for the World Series. There’s no doubt they have a talented team and they’re definitely hot right now, but I don’t think many folks picked them to be in this position. I know I didn’t.

That said, there are good reasons that the Nationals are in this position, and you can start with the three-headed monster in their starting rotation. Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, and Patrick Corbin give them arguably the best trio in baseball (we’ll get to that more later), and Anibal Sanchez has been lights out during this playoff run as well.

The Nationals’ pitching staff absolutely stymied the Cardinals throughout the NLCS, really up until the middle of Game 4 when the Red Birds attempted a futile comeback that came far too late. They had to get to the Nationals’ rotation at some point, and even though Corbin was the beneficiary of their lineup finally waking up, I wouldn’t bet against him right now either.

The Nationals also made a significant decision this off-season that’s obviously worked out for them, and that was not overpaying for Bryce Harper. Reports stated that they did offer him up to 300 million over 10 years, but when that wasn’t enough they moved on and signed Corbin, a decision that’s worked out beautifully. There’s no denying Harper’s talent, but the Nationals proved that one player won’t make the difference. Or at least in this case, they proved they could win without Harper.

It’s a bit of a surprise that the Nationals have gone on this run with a relatively weak bullpen, but everything has clicked for them so far this fall, and now they’re headed to the World Series. If there’s one more lesson for the Blue Jays to take away from this team, it’s that you just have to qualify for the playoffs in order to have a chance. Right now, the Nationals are living proof.

facebooktwitterreddit