Nats stay hot with sweep of Cubs

Ben Krimmel
August 25, 2019 - 8:15 pm
Nationals stay hot with sweep of Cubs

Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

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The Washington Nationals keep on rolling.

The team that looked dead and dusted in the middle of May completed a three-game sweep of the Chicago Cubs with a 7-5 win in extra-innings on Sunday. 

The Nationals have now won five in a row, seven of their last eight, 12 of their last 14, and (oh, why not?) 54 of their last 80. That's a .675 winning percentage! That is bonkers. 

Unfortunately, the Nationals (73-57) didn't gain any ground on the Atlanta Braves in the race for the NL East, as they swept the Mets and are riding an eight-game winning streak. However, Washington did add to their lead in the Wild Card. The sweep put them four games up on the Cubs for the top spot and 5.5 ahead of the Phillies, who are on the outside looking in at the moment.

For the Nats and their fans, a sweep at Wrigley Field was a long time coming: Their first since 2005.

The sweep wasn't a forgone conclusion, especially after Fernando Rodney let a two-run lead slip with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning. But some clutch hits from Howie Kendrick, Trea Turner, and Anthony Rendon (who went 4-for-5 on Sunday) won the day for the visitors in extra innings.

“Resilient. They’re very resilient. I’m telling you, I’ve said this all along: They’re not going to quit. That’s who they are," Nationals manager Davey Martinez said of his club, via MASN.

The manager, who was at one point managing to save his job during the early season struggles, is enjoying the Nationals incredible run of form.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” Martinez said after the game. “And I credit these guys for sticking with it, cause they could’ve easily gone south when things were going bad. But they didn’t. It’s a testament to the veterans, to the coaching staff, myself, (general manager Mike Rizzo), just constantly staying positive and bringing energy every day with these guys.

"They bring energy every day. We’re on a great run and it’s been fun,” he added.

And that energy has produced runs by the bucket load: 124 in their last 15 games. 

Martinez closed his postgame comments with a shout-out to the traveling fans.

"I need to say one more thing, too. Cause our fans have been incredible this weekend," the Nats skipper said. "We had a bunch of them here. They were above our dugout, and our players fed off that. Much appreciated. Keep coming out. They love it. And here we go."

Luckily for Nationals fans, they won't have to travel very far: They ballclub plays its next eight games at Nats Park.

Follow @BenKrimmel and @1067theFan Twitter.

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