2016 was a banner year for the Nationals. Dusty Baker led the team to a 95-67 record, the team brought home the NL East division title, and actually won a home playoff game — but a lot happened in between those milestones. 162+ games, to be exact. In those 162 games, a lot of great stories — funny, serious, and just plain weird — were made. Let’s take a look back at five of the best stories from the Nationals’ 2016 season.
Max Scherzer plays catch with a young Mets fan
Joe La Rocca, and his son Joe, both Mets fans, were at Citi Field watching batting practice last May. The younger La Rocca struck up a conversation with Max Scherzer, who responded by asking him if he wanted to play a game of catch (which La Rocca obviously did). He may have been a Mets fan, but you can guarantee he’s a Max Scherzer fan now too. In fact, he’s now the proud owner of a Max Scherzer jersey, and made it down to Nationals Park to watch the Nats and the Mets face off.
Wilson Ramos throws out the first pitch before Game 1 of the NLDS
By late September, Wilson Ramos looked like he was on track to be an impact player in the postseason after the best offensive season of his career (Ramos hit .307 with 22 home runs and 80 RBI). That all changed on September 26th in a game against the Diamondbacks, when Ramos tore the ACL in his right knee jumping up for an errant throw from first baseman Ryan Zimmerman and landing awkwardly on his right leg. Supposedly, that was the last the Nationals would see of Wilson Ramos. However, when Livan Hernandez, who was scheduled to throw out the first pitch of Game 1 of the NLDS, couldn’t make it to Washington due to Hurricane Matthew, someone else had to step in — and that man was the Buffalo himself, Wilson Ramos. Appropriately, the crowd went crazy.
Bryce Harper imposters are everywhere, apparently
Not Bryce Harper, not creepy at all pic.twitter.com/FsaVlTbCUc— anthony fenech (@anthonyfenech) May 9, 2016
Who wouldn’t want to be Bryce Harper? The answer is apparently nobody, because there were not one, but two Bryce Harper imposters spotted in the month of May — one in Washington, D.C., and another in New York. Weird? Yes. Realistic? Well, maybe a little bit.
The often repeated, non-sensical rallying cry of the Nationals in 2016 was “FWAHHHHH!”. The exclamation came to the Nationals from Daniel Murphy, who got it from his former Mets teammate, Lucas Duda. Usually, the cry is said after a home run — two players, typically the batter and the batter in the on-deck circle, will high five each other using both hands, let them fly out in an arc, and then exclaim “FWAHHHH!”.
Nats players, fans, deal with Metro shutdown
Between Stephen Strasburg, RGIII, the government, and the Metro, D.C. is pretty famous for shutdowns.
Metro held tight to their policy that the last train would leave from Navy Yard long before the end of Game 5 of the NLDS. Fans, and players, first got angry, then, they coordinated together, as fans gave rides to other fans who would normally take the metro. Then, they booed the Metro. Really loudly.