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Nationals sweep Cardinals to make first World Series in franchise history

Nationals

The Washington Nationals are finally going to the World Series for the first time in franchise history, sweeping away the St. Louis Cardinals thanks to a 7-4 victory in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series at Nationals Park.

The Nationals almost did what the Cardinals did to the Atlanta Braves just a series before, jumping out to a 7-0 lead after one inning and knocking out starter Dakota Hudson after he recorded just a single out. While it looked like Washington would cruise to the sweep, St. Louis had one last gasp in them before falling short.

The Cardinals got on the board in the fourth inning with a Yadier Molina solo shot off Nationals starter Patrick Corbin, and then the visiting side added three more runs off Corbin in the fifth inning. St. Louis loaded the bases in the eighth inning to make things real interesting, but Nationals closer Daniel Hudson got Matt Carpenter to ground out to second base to end the threat.

Hudson went 1-2-3 in the ninth inning, and the celebration was on:

While Corbin scuffled to the finish line of his start, he still earned the win and impressively struck out 12 batters in five innings. Trea Turner and Yan Gomes both had a pair of RBI, while Anthony Rendon, Juan Soto and Victor Robles chipped in one apiece.

Howie Kendrick was quiet in this game, but he took home NLCS MVP honors. He had five hits in 15 at bats in the series, including four doubles and four RBI.

It’s all rather ironic that the Nationals are going to the World Series in the very first season after Bryce Harper left them for the Philadelphia Phillies. The Nationals have been a franchise since 1969 when they started as the Montreal Expos, and they’ve been playing in the nation’s capital since 2005, with numerous postseason heartbreaks since the move leading up to this breakthrough.

Washington now waits for the winner of the series between the Houston Astros and New York Yankees. The Astros went up 2-1 on the back of ace starter Gerrit Cole in Game 3.