Revisiting & Reckoning With A Nationals World Series As A Braves Fan

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 04: General manager Alex Anthopoulos and manager Brian Snitker #43 of the Atlanta Braves talk during batting practice prior to Game One of the National League Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on October 4, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 04: General manager Alex Anthopoulos and manager Brian Snitker #43 of the Atlanta Braves talk during batting practice prior to Game One of the National League Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on October 4, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

The Washington Nationals pulled off the improbable comeback against the Houston Astros to win the World Series, the first since moving from Montreal and changing their name from the Expos to the Nationals. As an Atlanta Braves fan, there isn’t a scenario much worse than having to watch the Nationals hoist the Commissioner’s Trophy.

After getting off to a 19-31 start to the season in the first 50 games of the year, the Washington Nationals were written off by most when it came to contending for anything of significance during the season. Having moved on from their best player the offseason before, Bryce Harper, the Nationals were ushering in a new era of baseball in the capital of D.C., an era that didn’t get off to a promising start. However, with a lot of resilience, the Nationals would quickly turn the season around, playing some of the best baseball in all of the MLB to capture the top Wild Card spot in the NL.

The improbability of the Washington Nationals season continued into the playoffs. Needing to win a one-game elimination game against the Milwaukee Brewers to advance to the NL Divisional Series. After getting themselves into a 3-1 hole early in the game, the season looked like it would be coming to an unceremoniously end, the Nationals rallied late in the 9th inning. Juan Soto, the Nationals postseason hero, drove three runs home in the bottom of the 8th inning, giving the Nationals a 4-3 lead and eventually the win, too.

After such heights as their win over the Brewers, the Nationals were going to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the next round, the team that was by far the best team all season in the National League. The Dodgers were big-time favorites coming into the series, but the Nationals were unflinching. Despite the Dodgers success in the regular season, the Nationals would take down the Dodgers to continue their playoff run.

After taking down the Dodgers, the St. Louis Cardinals, off the heels of eliminating the Atlanta Braves, were next up. Riding the very real momentum, the Nationals would go on to sweep the Cardinals in four games. With the sweep, the Nationals would clinch their first World Series appearance since they were the Washington Senators before WW II. The Houston Astros were the only team standing in front of the Nationals first ever World Series title.

Going into the World Series with the Houston Astros, the Nationals were massive underdogs. Depsite their underdog status, the Nationals jumped out to a shocking 2-0 game lead, winning both games on the road. Winning the first two games was a massive boost for the Nationals going back to D.C. with a chance to win the World Series on their homefield.

Unfortunately, D.C. was denied witnessing history with their own eyes when the Astros fought back to win all three games in D.C. to take a 3-2 lead heading back to Houston. Now, in the underdog role again, a place the Nationals have been very comfortable this season, the Nationals had to win the last two games to keep their hopes of a World Series title alive.

The Nationals would go on to win Game 6 to force a final and decisive Game 7 for the World Series. Things looked bleak for the Nationals, when Houston jumped out to a 2-0 lead in Game 7. With just a few innings left to save their season, the Nationals did what they have done all season: comeback to take the lead. In a shocking momentum shift, the Nationals took the lead late in Game 7 and would not give it back. The Nationals did the impossible by defying every odd to win the World Series.

Now, with all of that said, let’s get into how the Atlanta Braves are feeling about their NL East rival winning their first World Series while the Braves fans were watching from home. It was awful. About as awful as the Braves getting absolutely embarrassed by the St. Louis Cardinals in their playoff series. Not only did the Braves lose their Game 5 to the Cardinals in laughable fashion, the Braves had to watch the Cardinals get beatdown in a four-game sweep to the Washington Nationals.

So, not to beat this point into the ground too much, but the team that is the chief rival of the Atlanta Braves just won their first World Series title ever, while the Braves still look to win their first playoff series since 2001! Yes, your Atlanta Braves have not won a single playoff series, let alone make it to a World series, since 2001. The amount of regular-season success the Braves have had compared to the postseason success, which is none, will make a rational person question why they still cheer for this team.

Since the last Braves postseason series win, 2001, the Braves have seen the Miami Marlins, Philadelphia Phillies, and Washington Nationals win a World Series title. The remaining NL East team, the New York Mets, have reached the World Series, in 2015. Every single NL East team, other than the Braves, has had major postseason success since the last time the Braves have done anything remotely of note in the playoffs!

The Atlanta Braves have been the definition of the team that is good enough to be there, but not good enough to win anything of significance. Now, another season ended in massive disappointment, and another divisional rival hoisting the World Series title. It’s starting to feel like this city can’t, and won’t, ever catch a break when it comes to sports success. It’s almost like their is a curse….

Whatever it is, I include myself in this, why do we all put ourselves through such agony season after season? Nothing changes, other than the new way fill-in-the-blank Atlanta sports franchise finds a way to lose in a comedic, demoralizing way. It happens every year, yet, we are all back to cheer on the team again the next year. Now, to add insult to injury, the Atlanta Braves have to watch the Washington Nationals win, celebrate, and bask in their World Series victory. Isn’t it great to be an Atlanta sports fan?