Nationals claim first title; disappointing season for Chicago baseball teams


Anthony Capua, Staff writer

The 2019 MLB season has seen some eventful moments and interesting stories as we head into the postseason. The American League juggernaut, Boston Red Sox, has taken a dive out of playoff contention, while the Washington Nationals seem to improve after losing their star player. The talented Chicago Cubs show their flaws after coming third in the division behind the Milwaukee Brewers and the St. Louis Cardinals.

Both the Chicago teams missed the playoffs. The White Sox are a rebuilding team but have a promising future ahead of them with players like Eloy Jimenez and Yoan Moncada, led by Jose Abreu. They should be back into playoff contention in a few years.

The Chicago Cubs on the other hand, need a retooling. The talent is there. Multiple Gold Glove winners and former MVPs are on the team. Theo Epstein, the president of the organization, has parted ways with coach Joe Maddon. Joe helped the Cubs win their first World Series in 108 years back in 2016, but since then, things have changed. Most fans are going to miss Maddon but understand why he decided to leave. There is already discussion on who the new coach will be. Former catcher, David Ross, with no managerial experience, will take over the Cubs beginning in 2020.

The Houston Astros won the most games this season with 107. The Dodgers led the NL with 106. The Los Angeles Dodgers have lost two World Series in a row and hoped to get revenge the third time, however, the underdog Washington Nationals upset the Dodgers in the first round, after beating the Milwaukee Brewers in the Wild Card game.

The Washington Nationals are an interesting story in themselves. Fans were both disappointed but also somewhat relieved when their franchise player, Bryce Harper, left in free agency. With Bryce Harper on the team the Nationals were always a playoff contender but could never make it past the first round. The season before Harper left, he only batted a .249 and many Nationals fans saw him as overrated and even an impediment to their playoff success.

The fans may have been right as the Washington Nationals are now in their first World Series in franchise history (including the Montreal Expos) after conquering the first two rounds and the wild card game. After defeating the Brewers in the wild card game and going down 2-1 in the series vs the Dodgers, they came back and won the series 3-2. The next opponent they faced were the St. Louis Cardinals. Using the momentum they gained from the prior series, they totally dominated the Cardinals, sweeping them in four games and never letting the Cardinals even take a lead during the entire series.

In the American League, the Houston Astros defeated the league leader New York Yankees in a close six game series. In the bottom of the 9th on game six, Aroldis Chapman threw two sliders in a row, not his most deadly pitch. Jose Altuve took advantage of this by hitting a home run to deep left center field to secure a walk-off victory by the Houston Astros to launch them in to the World Series.

The Nationals were able to keep their momentum going in defeating the Astros in the World Series – the Nationals first in franchise history, which dates back to the 1970s when they were the Houston Astros.

What’s left now is to look into the accusations that the Astros have been cheating throughout their recent run of success, which saw them also win the World Series in 2017. These accusations, if proven true, could result in the loss of draft picks and even international pool money.