#TBT to “Nationals Classics”: The moment you’ve all been waiting for

You’ve been spending way more time at home than usual and your television set is working overtime. Normally at this time of year, MASN would be bringing you live Nationals games, but maybe you’ve been catching some of the wide variety of sports competition (taped back before the world went on lockdown) that MASN presents daily: auto, motorcycle, air and speedboat racing, Bundesliga soccer, PBA bowling and poker tours, to name a few.

Of course our bread and butter is baseball. So while our program schedule is undergoing a major overhaul, we’re making sure that you can still see plenty of Nationals action, even if it’s only rebroadcasts of games that took place in the recent or distant past, when crowds could gather without a care beyond how their favorite team did on the field that day.

If we’re going to be stuck at home watching reruns, Nats fans can’t do better than the upcoming batch. Along with a few of the regular season matchups we air throughout the year, we’re continuing our presentation of national network broadcasts of every Nationals win during last year’s extraordinary championship run, culminating Tuesday with their victory in Game 7 of the 2019 World Series.

So strap yourself in and enjoy the ride. Even though you know the ultimate outcome, we think you’ll find it very nearly as exciting as you did when it was actually happening.

Thursday, April 9 - 9 a.m. - It was at the tail end of Adam LaRoche’s final season with the Nats, and the team was closing in on its second National League East title on Sept. 3, 2014. LaRoche came off the bench to deflate the Dodger Stadium crowd, hitting a two-run homer off closer Kenley Jansen in the ninth inning to send the game to extra innings. After getting hit by a Jamey Wright pitch in the 11th, LaRoche singled in the 12th to put the Nats up 5-3. Carl Crawford homered off Tyler Clippard in the bottom half to extend the game further, but LaRoche hit an RBI grounder in the 14th, and Asdrúbal Cabrera followed with a two-run homer. Final score: Nationals 8, Dodgers 5.

Thursday, April 9 - 7 p.m. - Stephen Strasburg struck out 12 as the Nats ran over the Cardinals on Oct. 14, 2019 to put themselves one game away from the first World Series in franchise history. Howie Kendrick doubled twice to collect three RBIs in the 8-1 romp at Nationals Park.

Friday, April 10 - 9 a.m. - It took the Nats 11 innings to land the Marlins before 29,000 at RFK Stadium on July 6, 2006. The home team scored five runs off Marlins starter Aníbal Sánchez in the first inning, and it looked as though they would win easily. But the Fish fought back in the second with seven runs off Liván Hernández and it was game on. After drawing a bases-loaded walk to tie the score at 7-7 in the seventh, Ryan Zimmerman delivered an RBI single in the 11th for a walk-off win.

Friday, April 10 - 7 p.m. - Fans broke out the brooms on Oct. 15, 2019 as the home team exorcised the playoff demons that had haunted Nationals Park for years. Cardinals starter Dakota Hudson only made it through a third of an inning while the Nats enjoyed a seven-run first. The Cards would make it a game, eventually getting to Patrick Corbin for four runs, but the Nats bullpen allowed just one hit over four innings to secure the win and a four-game sweep of the NL Central champs.

Saturday, April 11 - 11 a.m. - The Nationals had already beaten the Phillies on Sept. 11, 2018 when the two teams took the field at Citizens Bank Park once more for a nightcap. The home team grabbed a lead with a five-run fifth, but Juan Soto lit up Phils pitching that night, hitting a double and two home runs as the Nats won 7-6 in 10 innings.

Saturday, April 11 - 8 p.m. - No longer a rookie, Soto showed the world what the fuss was all about as the Nats won Game 1 of the World Series on Oct. 22, 2019. The Childish Bambino homered to lead off the fourth at Minute Maid Park, then drove in two with a double in the fifth. The Astros gave the Nats bullpen some trouble, but Sean Doolittle picked up a four-out save as the visitors snared a 5-4 victory. Astros ace Gerrit Cole took the loss.

Sunday, April 12 - 7 p.m. - The Nationals went on a tear late in Game 2 of the 2019 World Series, scoring nine runs in the last three innings to give the Astros a 12-3 bloody nose in their home park and take a 2-0 series lead back to Washington. Cabrera went 2-for-5 with three RBIs. Kurt Suzuki, Adam Eaton and postseason monster Michael A. Taylor all homered. A stingy Strasburg held the explosive Astros to two runs over six innings, striking out seven.

Monday, April 13 - 9 a.m. - The Nats won in 16 innings to sew up a sweep of an early season interleague skirmish on April 24, 2016. Strasburg struck out 10 Twins over 7 1/3 innings, and even had a base hit in his last at-bat, but Brian Dozier chased him with a three-run homer in the eighth. Wilson Ramos’ two-run double in the bottom half got the Nats back within striking distance, and Bryce Harper’s ninth-inning dinger left the game tied at the end of regulation. The game remained tied 4-4 until the 15th, when each team scored a single run. Chris Heisey’s homer leading off the 16th gave the Nats a 5-4 walk-off win.

Monday, April 13 - 7 p.m. - Back to Houston we go for Game 6 of the World Series. Having dropped all three games back home - one of the odd things about the 2019 Fall Classic was that the visiting team won every single game - the Nationals faced elimination once again. Strasburg gave up just five hits and two runs over 8 1/3 innings, sealing up his eventual selection as World Series MVP. Anthony Rendon did the heavy lifting on offense, going 3-for-4 with a homer, a double and five RBIs. The Nationals’ 7-2 win forced a deciding game the following night.

Tuesday, April 14 - 9 a.m. - You get knocked down, you get back up. That’s what winners do. Case in point: April 12, 2012 at Nats Park. The Nationals appeared to be gliding to a 2-0 win over the Reds, but when Brad Lidge came to the hill for the save in the ninth, the visitors blew up that scenario. Lidge issued two walks (one intentional) and a double before Ryan Ludwick singled to tie the score. The Nats threatened in the home half, but a double play killed the rally. Craig Stammen struck out the side in the 10th, bringing the Nats back to the plate. Alfredo Simón hit leadoff batter Ryan Zimmerman with a pitch. Two batters later, Zimmerman stood on third with Roger Bernadina at the dish. Simon’s 0-1 pitch went wild - and so did the ballpark as Zimmerman raced home for a walk-off win.

Tuesday, April 14 - 7 p.m. - This was it. All the marbles. The Nats had staved off elimination in Game 6 and now would meet the Astros one last time to decide the championship of Major League Baseball. Three nights after being scratched from a scheduled Game 5 start at Nationals Park because of a nerve impingement in his neck, Nats ace Max Scherzer started Game 7 of the 2019 World Series. Yuli Gurriel took him deep to lead off the home second, and the next two Astros singled, but Scherzer managed to escape without further damage. After Scherzer pitched five, Corbin threw three innings of scoreless relief, the only hit a two-out single from Gurriel. The Nationals were behind 2-0 going into the seventh. That’s when they engineered yet another thrilling comeback. Rendon hit a solo homer off starter Zack Greinke, who then walked Soto. With that, Astros skipper AJ Hinch summoned Will Harris (who would become a National as a free agent in the subsequent offseason). Kendrick sent his second pitch just inside the foul pole in right to put his team ahead 3-2. Soto’s RBI single in the eighth and Eaton’s two-RBI single in the ninth made it 6-2. Daniel Hudson took care of business in the bottom half, retiring the Astros in order. Michael Brantley swung and missed with two out and a full count to send Nats Nation into a frenzy like none it had ever seen.

Wednesday, April 15 - noon - It wasn’t a World Series clincher (in fact, the Nats missed the playoffs altogether that year), but June 19, 2013 in Philadelphia was pretty darned exciting. The Nats trailed 2-0 after six, but Jayson Werth hit RBI singles in the seventh and ninth innings to force extras. Ian Desmond homered with the bases juiced in the 11th to give the Nationals a 6-2 win.

Wednesday, April 15 - 11:30 p.m. - The Nats completed a three-game sweep at Wrigley Field on July 3, 2005, but it took them 12 innings to do it. The Nationals appeared to be gliding to 2-0 win when Chad Cordero came on to close in the ninth. But after two flyouts, Cordero gave up a Jeromy Burnitz single and Aramis Ramírez’s two-run homer. Brad Wilkerson’s single gave the Nats another two-run lead in the 11th, but with Héctor Carrasco on the mound, Jerry Hairston homered leading off the bottom half, and Todd Hollandsworth doubled to knot the score at 4-4. With two out in the 12th, Brian Schneider homered for the visitors and this time the Nats’ lead held up for a 5-4 win.

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