#TBT to "Nationals Classics": Let the championship run begin

We should be getting ready for the Nationals' home opener against the Mets today. We should be preparing to hoist a championship banner on South Capitol Street. We should be choosing our most favorite t-shirt, jackets and caps from the World Series run, and high-fiving random fans we run into on the Metro, in line at the ballpark or in the stands who are our baseball twins.

While the coronavirus might have robbed us of that for the time being, it can't erase the memories of a great postseason performance by the Nationals that resulted in the club's first World Series win. And, frankly, it never will.

While we wait for the delayed start of the 2020 campaign, MASN is proud to present this week's "Nationals Classics," which include the start of a two-week binge of the team's 2019 postseason victories, beginning this afternoon with the wild card showdown between the Nats and Brewers that got the playoffs off on the right foot.

There are some other "Nationals Classics" sprinkled in among the postseason wins this week, just to keep you connected to baseball day and night.

Enjoy reliving the postseason - how could you not? - and consider this your own personal spring training for when baseball resumes and D.C. celebrates what the Nationals accomplished back in October.

Thursday, April 2 - 9 a.m. - Nationals catchers played heroes on May 4, 2012, when the Nats needed 11 innings to eke out a 4-3 win over the Phillies. Jesus Flores' RBI double in the eighth tied the game at 3-all and pinch-hitter Wilson Ramos delivered a walk-off single in the 11th, a two-out bases-loaded liner to left-center that plated Steve Lombardozzi with the game-winner.

Thursday, April 2 - 1 p.m. - Here it is: the National League wild card game from last season, a one-game showdown to determine who would fly cross-country to meet the Dodgers in the NL Division Series. The Brewers jumped out to an early 3-1 lead and starter Brandon Woodruff was dealing through four innings before reaching his pitch limit. The bullpen held the Nats in check until the eighth inning that changed the baseball fortunes of the home team. Josh Hader loaded the bases before Juan Soto's single to right plated two runs, and another scored when Trent Grisham overran the ball. Nationals Park has never been louder than when Soto came through in the clutch, delivering a 4-3 win.

Thursday, April 2 - 11:30 p.m. - This one's for the night owls and it's a grand memory, at that. The Phillies were ahead 4-2 entering the bottom of the ninth on Aug. 19, 2011, sending future National Ryan Madson in to close things out. RBI singles by Jonny Gomes and Ian Desmond tied it up, and a little while later, Ryan Zimmerman launched a walk-off grand slam down the left field line for an 8-4 victory.

Friday, April 3 - 1:30 p.m. - Bryce Harper homered twice off Ricky Nolasco in the Nationals' 2013 season opener against the Marlins, with right-hander Stephen Strasburg recording 19 consecutive outs in a 2-0 triumph over the Marlins at Nats Park.

Saturday, April 4 - 10 a.m. - The Nats and Phillies went to extra innings on Sept. 3, 2005 and Preston Wilson's RBI single in the 12th walked off the Pfightins for a 5-4 win by the home team.

Saturday, April 4 - 8 p.m. - Down a game in the best-of-five NLDS after dropping the opener in L.A., the Nats turned to Strasburg to fan 10 over six three-hit innings in Game 2. Howie Kendrick hit an RBI single in the first and the second saw Adam Eaton and Anthony Rendon drive in runs for a 3-0 cushion. Max Scherzer made an appearance out of the bullpen in the eighth inning, striking out the side, and Daniel Hudson finished off a 4-2 victory that squared the series.

Sunday, April 5 - 1 p.m. - Harper hit his first grand slam and became the eighth-youngest player in major league history to reach the 100-homer plateau on April 14, 2016 in a 6-2 win over the Braves.

Sunday, April 5 - 8 p.m. - With the Nats facing elimination in NLDS Game 4, Scherzer stymied the Dodgers for seven innings and Zimmerman's three-run homer highlighted a four-run sixth as the Nats forced Game 5 with a 6-1 rout.

Monday, April 6 - 1 p.m. - April 14, 2005 marked baseball's return to the District of Columbia after a long absence and 435,596 crammed every nook and cranny of RFK Stadium to welcome their new team home. Liván Hernández worked into the ninth inning and Vinny Castilla slammed a two-run homer that had RFK rocking in a 5-3 win over the Diamondbacks.

Monday, April 6 - 6:30 p.m. - There are certain baseball moments where you remember exactly where you were as you watched, and Game 5 of the 2019 NLDS certainly qualifies. Every Nats fan will remember forever the moment Kendrick's bases-loaded fly ball to center field at Chavez Ravine cleared the wall for the grand slam that produced a 7-3 win over the Dodgers, sending the Nationals to the NL Championship Series.

Tuesday, April 7 - 9 a.m. - The 2009 season saw the Nationals lose 103 games, but they made the most of a 15-inning marathon in the final game of the year at Atlanta. Alberto González's RBI single to center in the 15th was the difference-maker, giving Logan Kensing his lone victory in a Washington uniform.

Tuesday, April 7 - 7 p.m. - In the 2019 NLCS opener at St. Louis, Aníbal Sánchez was on fire, taking a no-hitter into the eighth inning before José Martínez's single on his 103rd pitch. Yan Gomes and Kendrick drove in the runs and the Nats opened Game 1 with a 2-0 win at Busch Stadium.

Wednesday, April 8 - 1:30 p.m. - If you're a fan of pitching gems, you'll love this throwback from April 26, 2013, when Jordan Zimmermann one-hit the Reds and Jayson Werth's fourth-inning RBI single provided the offense in a 1-0 Washington victory.

Wednesday, April 8 - 7 p.m. - A day after Sánchez flirted with a no-no, Scherzer took a no-hitter into the seventh inning of NLCS Game 2 against the Cardinals. Paul Goldschmidt's single saved the Redbirds from a total zero, and Eaton drove in a pair of runs in a 3-1 win, helping the Nats take a commanding 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Wednesday, April 8 - 11:30 p.m. - How about a little major league history to finish off a trio of "Nationals Classics"? On Aug. 7. 2007, the Giants' Barry Bonds became baseball's new all-time home run king, connecting off the Nats' Mike Bacsik in the fifth inning for his 756th career blast. Everyone remembers Bonds' historic blast. Few recall the Nationals actually won the game 8-6 behind homers from Felipe López, Austin Kearns and Brian Schneider.

Nationals trivia quiz: Postseason
Home confinement re-watch: 2019 NLCS Game 4

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