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Wire Taps: Nationals win pennant, sweep Cardinals; Howie Kendrick wins NLCS MVP; Mark Lerner says he wants to re-sign Anthony Rendon

The Nationals won the FREAKING PENNANT last night. Read every link and piece of news from the incredible last 24 hours in Natstown below...

MLB: NLCS-St. Louis Cardinals at Washington Nationals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Here we are: Wire Taps for a World Series that will include the Washington Nationals.

The one note, which has very little to do with the team: for fear of Yankee Stadium in late October and cold streaks, I think the Nats should be rooting for the Astros to close out the ALCS within the next two games — that way, both teams will have endured similarly long breaks.

Then again, nothing about this season has made any sense, so who knows what will really matter. For now, revel in the fact that the Nats will raise a pennant next spring.

Here’s the scoop from South Capitol:

Off to the World Series, these Nationals have proved everyone wrong (WaPo)
The Nats' World Series birth, Thomas Boswell writes, is like going to your backyard with a spade to plant petunias and striking oil instead. When it all looked like it had all fallen apart, finally, this team's depth, ability to avoid its bullpen, and old-school habits got them the team's first-ever pennant. They probably won't dominate in the Fall Classic — but there's a chance, and the team knows this isn't the end of the line quite yet.

Nationals owner Mark Lerner on Anthony Rendon: ‘We certainly want to keep him. That’s 110 percent.’ (WaPo)
“We certainly want to keep him. That’s 110 percent,” Lerner said. “It’s really in Tony’s and his family’s hands at this point. They have to decide what they want to do. He’s earned that right as a free agent. It couldn’t happen to a better guy. We love him to death.”

The Nationals are going to the World Series — and a city’s baseball scars have healed (WaPo)
In the grand scheme of the last fifteen years, the fact that the Nationals are here is something of a miracle: the fact that there is baseball in Washington, that the apparatuses around it function, that the playoffs haven't ended in a heartbreaking early exit, are all wonders to behold on nights like last night.

Lerner never considered firing Martinez, wants to re-sign Rendon (MASN)
Mark Lerner, on May 24th, had no intention of showing Davey Martinez the door. Also, he's made it very clear: the team wants to retain Anthony Rendon — and any decision is his to make at this point.

Ryan Zimmerman has been through it all with the Nats, and for him this is ‘surreal’ (WaPo)
Ryan Zimmerman, one of the last men standing from the 2005 draft, the original National, has seen it all from the field and from the sidelines; he recorded the last out of Game 5 in 2012, lost in 2014, 2016, and 2017, before helping to spear this run.

Pennant party: Nats sweep Cards to reach first World Series (MASN)
You would be forgiven for having flashbacks to 2012's NLDS Game 5: an early, seemingly insurmountable lead suddenly seeming very surmountable. The Cardinals had a real chance on Tuesday night, but the Nationals hung on to let their momentum carry them through the sweep. That blank pennant, waiting for the next World Series, will be filled in with "2019" come next spring.

Corbin knows Cards well, Robles good to go, Hudson and Doolittle rested (MASN)
As it turns out, getting Sean Doolittle and Daniel Hudson Monday night off was pretty important.

Howie Kendrick wins NLCS MVP Award (
Off a devastating achilles injury last year, Kendrick is having the time of his life on these Nationals, and his hitting wasn't too shabby in these playoffs either.

Nationals sweep Cardinals in NLCS, 7-4, earn first World Series berth (WaPo)
“I can’t put this into words,” said Manager Dave Martinez, standing on a stage over second base, surrounded by ownership and the front office and the players that made this possible. Then Martinez reached for something his mother always told him. “I’ll say this: Often bumpy roads lead to beautiful places. And this is a beautiful place.”

2019 World Series schedule, how to watch and what you need to know (WaPo)
Joe Buck will call the games on FOX. It's a best-of-7. The first game is next Tuesday. The first home game is on Friday. The tickets are, uh, expensive.

Nationals complete NLCS sweep of Cardinals, punch ticket to World Series (NBC Sports)
"The Nationals will officially appear in the World Series for the first time in franchise history. The team that had a 19-31 record in late May, putting manager Dave Martinez on the hot seat, improbably fought back to snag a Wild Card slot, won the play-in game, beat the heavily-favored Dodgers in five games in the NLDS, and polished off a sweep of the Cardinals in the NLCS on Tuesday night, winning 7-4."

Nationals Complete Sweep Of Cardinals, Nanny Nanny Boo Boo (Deadspin)
"The Nationals—it completely blows my mind that this can be said about the Nationals, in the playoffs—were prepared to capitalize... So the Nationals head to the World Series, where they will almost certainly be significant underdogs to whoever comes out of the American League."

The Nationals didn’t just sweep the Cardinals. They also killed their identity. - The Washington Post
The Cardinals dedicated themselves to a clean brand of baseball all year. This series against the Nats was, uh, not clean.

Washington Nationals sweep Cardinals to reach World Series for first time (ESPN)
"It wasn't by design to get 12 games under .500 and try and battle ourselves back, but we earned 12 games under .500," president of baseball operations Mike Rizzo said. "But then we also earned about .720 ball the rest of the way."

Wild Card teams that reached World Series (
The Nats are the first Wild Card since 2014 to make the World Series.

Nationals' Howie Kendrick named MVP of NLCS (ESPN)
"I can truly say this is the best time of my career, the best moment of my career this year," Kendrick said upon receiving the award.

A Eulogy for the 2019 St. Louis Cardinals (The Ringer)
The Cardinals don't have one moment to revisit all offseason or to replay in their heads; no decisions will be scrutinized. Instead, the Nats swept them out of the playoffs before they had a chance to react.

These teams went longest before 1st WS (
Think of it this way: the Expos/Nationals franchise needed 50 seasons to make a World Series. DC hasn't had a World Series in 86 years. Added up, 136 or so years of total baseball torment, with only 15 years of overlap, erased last night.

Finally, the Nationals Are in the World Series (NYT)
"Fifteen years may not seem that long, but for older baseball fans in D.C., the wait has felt interminable, especially because after the Senators lost to the Giants in 1933, the team had a winning record only four more times before moving to Minnesota."

Mariners now stand alone — as only MLB team never to reach World Series (Seattle Times)
"With the Nationals headed to the World Series for the first time in franchise’s 39-year history, including their time when they were the Montreal Expos, the Mariners now stand alone in perpetual failure as the only active organization in Major League Baseball to have never appeared in a World Series."

The Nats Are Peaking At The Perfect Time (FiveThirtyEight)
The Nats' Elo rating—FiveThirtyEight's power rating for a given ballclub at a given time—has never been higher, though they've made things pretty close at times.