In case you forgot, the Washington Nationals’ season was, uh, a weird, weird, weird, weird one. Like, really, super crazy weird. And because it’s too early for trade rumors and too late for post-Game 5 analysis, this is where we are, so let’s get at it and look at the weirdest moment from every month of the Nats’ 2017 campaign...
Wilmer Difo on what happened here: "sniper" pic.twitter.com/WOzQLRAT0V— Jamal Collier (@JamalCollier) July 27, 2017
March (bonus month): Nats name Blake Treinen as closer
Blake Treinen will be the Nationals closer, Dusty said.— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) March 30, 2017
Boy oh boy! It’s February 13th, the first day of Nationals’ Spring Training. I’ve been waiting all year to see who will get the ninth for the Nats — now to pour myself a nice cup of coffee and see the all-star they acquired. Wait, sorry, what?
Yes folks, that’s right. Blake Treinen — that Blake Treinen, the one who walked more batters than he retired, the one who lost the job after only two weeks of having it — started the year as the Nats’ closer. The job hunt came down to him, Shawn Kelley, and Koda Glover. None of whom ended up on the Nationals’ postseason roster, as it turned out. Live and learn, I guess.
April: Trea Turner hits for the cycle
As the weird moments go, this one was the least weird. It was just cool. And he was productive for the rest of the season, earning MVP consideration after a blazing-hot summer! Sorry, what was that you just sai—broken wrist?
Trea Turner is incredible. This marks the first cycle of what should be a stellar career pic.twitter.com/tYjExTFmMd— The Eephus Podcast (@EephusPod) April 26, 2017
May: The Harper-Strickland Brawl - Because why let grudges go when you can get revenge three years later? TM
This one requires no introduction.
Hunter Strickland drilled Bryce Harper and punched him in the face when Harper charger him pic.twitter.com/7QNliRl55K— That Dude (@cjzer0) May 29, 2017
When you tell your friends you're about to text your ex at 2am pic.twitter.com/8WsDqLvb2H— Mina (@maddc8) May 29, 2017
June: The Koda Glover shower incident
By this point in the season, the Nats had named upstart Koda Glover as their closer — a move that felt inevitable to most by the time it happened. However, after a few weeks of dominance, Glover uncharacteristically blew a save pretty decisively against the Texas Rangers.
The Nationals' bullpen just blew another save. Koda Glover's ERA is over 5.00. Imagine if the Nats actually had a challenger in the NL East.— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) June 10, 2017
What, you ask, could’ve been the problem? Simple, actually: Glover pulled his back in the shower, pitched through it, screwed up his rotator cuff, and then didn’t pitch for the rest of the season.
"I was taking a shower, bent over to get my body wash, stood up and had a little kink," Glover said, as quoted by Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post. "With some issues I've had lately I kind of pushed myself. I didn't want to take a day off. I've had three days off already, so I pushed the limits today, tried to pitch through it. And it's one of them things where it was out of my control and I should have said something early. I didn't, and now my back's in pretty bad shape."
July: 4 homers in a row, five in an inning
Sometimes, you get in a rhythm. And then the rhythm just continues, and you hit four home runs. In the game against the Brewers? Eight home runs total for the home team.
August: The day the Nats started *this* lineup
After 5am arrival, Dusty resting regulars. Stevenson RF, Sanchez 3B, Murphy 2B, Lind 1B, Difo SS, Taylor CF, De Aza LF, Lobaton C, Cole RHP— Dan Kolko (@masnKolko) August 25, 2017
Opening day starters: 1. 1. ONE OPENING DAY STARTER. IT’S MIRACULOUS THE NATS WERE EVEN IN THE PLAYOFFS, FOLKS.
September: Nats clinch NL East by watching videoboard
Most of the time, when you clinch with another team’s win, you win your own game, go back into the clubhouse, wait, like, twenty minutes max for the other team to win, and then celebrate. However, the Braves and Marlins took a really long time to finish their game, and the Nats and Phillies finished their game in approximately ten minutes, which led to about three hundred fans sticking around for a potential celebration at Nats Park (which was still very cool).
The Braves just tied the game. pic.twitter.com/fCRB9Yn4CL— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) September 10, 2017
You get a Division Champs shirt and YOU get a Division Champs shirt... pic.twitter.com/bNL1KaA5wL— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) September 10, 2017
October: The Great Strasburg debacle
On the eve of Game 4 of an NLDS in which the Nats were down 2-1 (Spoiler alert: they did not, in fact, win the series), the Nats looked like they had been handed a major break — the weather looked crummy, meaning that Stephen Strasburg would be available for the next day on regular rest. So, reporters went into the post-rainout presser expecting an announcement stating that Strasburg would get the ball the next day. Then:
Um, wow... the Nationals are sticking with Tanner Roark for Game 4 tomorrow— Jamal Collier (@JamalCollier) October 10, 2017
The Nationals say Dusty misspoke, Strasburg threw a bullpen yesterday. But he is under the weather and his endurance is down.— Jamal Collier (@JamalCollier) October 10, 2017
Could Strasburg still pitch today? Scott Boras just told me: “He was ill yesterday, but — health dependent — I wouldn’t rule anything out.”— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) October 11, 2017
And thus, the Strasburg flu game was born.
Did we miss anything? Egregiously mis-label something? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter...