Not a creature was stirring - except for the MASN staff, who have put together a holiday bonanza of “Nationals Classics” for your viewing pleasure.
From first thing this morning through the midnight hour on Christmas night, we’ll relive moments from each of the past eight Nationals seasons. You’ll see so much baseball you’ll think your long winter’s nap lasted all the way to April.
Included on this long list (we checked it twice) are extra-inning thrillers, eye-popping power displays and a late-inning eruption that exemplified the Nationals’ magical world championship season.
So grab your nog, wassail or whatever beverage gives you the warm fuzzies, settle in and enjoy.
Thursday, Dec. 19 - 9 a.m. - The Nats completed a three-game sweep in interleague play versus the Twins on April 24, 2016, but it took longer than either team (especially the visiting Twins, who were headed home directly afterward) would have liked. Bryce Harper’s ninth-inning solo shot sent the contest to extra innings. The Twins regained the lead in the 15th, but then a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt attempt brought Danny Espinosa home. Chris Heisey led off the Nats’ 16th with a walk-off home run.
Friday, Dec. 20 - 12:30 p.m. - The final score looked more like one from a Packers-Redskins game than from a mid-August tilt between the Brewers and Nationals, but that’s what happens when the contestants homer 11 times between them. Eight of those longballs belonged the the Nats, and Brian Dozier and Juan Soto each went yard twice in the 16-8 romp that took place on Aug. 18, 2019.
Friday, Dec. 20 - 6:30 p.m. - It doesn’t always take a home run to notch a walk-off hit. On May 4, 2012, Wilson Ramos’ pinch-hit single in the 11th drove in Steve Lombardozzi to beat the Phillies 4-3. Lombardozzi and center fielder Rick Ankiel each had three hits on the day, and starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg had a double.
Sunday, Dec. 22 - 11:30 p.m. - Corner infielder and bat-for-hire Mark Reynolds has had his share of ups and downs over his well-traveled career, but July 7, 2018 might stand out in his memory as a really good day. Reynolds homered twice and delivered 10 RBIs as the Nationals whipped the visiting Marlins 18-4.
Monday, Dec. 23 - 9 a.m. - The Nats and Padres were locked in a pitchers’ duel on June 9, 2019 at Petco Park. Until the eighth inning, that is. With the score tied 1-1, the visitors hit four solo homers in succession off former teammate Craig Stammen on the way to a 5-2 Nationals victory.
Monday, Dec. 23 - 6:30 p.m. - Ian Desmond’s grand slam in the 11th inning on June 19, 2013 wasn’t a walk-off, as the Nats were on the road. But it sure took the air out of Citizens Bank Park, and the Phillies went quietly in the bottom half to give the visitors a 6-2 win.
Tuesday, Dec. 24 - 11 a.m. - Max Scherzer’s win over the Pirates on June 20, 2015 put the Nats up half a game on the Mets in the National League East. And oh yeah, he pitched a no-hitter that day. He’d have been perfect had he not plunked Bucs pinch-hitter José Tabata with two out in the ninth. Tyler Moore and Harper each had two RBIs in the Nationals’ 6-0 win.
Wednesday, Dec. 25 - 11 a.m. - Look what Santa left! It’s a rebroadcast of Clinchmas 2017! In downing the Phillies 3-2 on Sept. 10, the Nats nailed down their fourth NL East title in six years. Phils starter Ben Lively went the distance but took a loss as Strasburg struck out 10 and held the visitors to two runs over eight innings of work.
Wednesday, Dec. 25 - 6:30 p.m. - If you don’t celebrate Christmas and aren’t into Chinese food, we’ve got you covered. In mid-August 2014, the Nats won 10 straight, half of them in walk-off fashion. Jayson Werth did the honors on Aug. 17, doubling in the bottom of the 11th, taking third on a grounder and scoring the game-winner on Scott Hairston’s sac fly.
Wednesday, Dec. 25 - 11:59 p.m. - While the kids are sleeping off the holiday, you can decompress by watching the Nats kick the stuffing out of the Brewers. The home team homered no fewer than eight times on July 27, 2017 to power a 15-2 victory. Harper and Ryan Zimmerman had two dingers apiece. Harper, José Lobaton and Anthony Rendon all had doubles, and Brian Goodwin had two two-baggers that day.