The bad news: All of my negative predictions were wrong, and I have to eat a shoe now to fulfill a bet.
The good news: Now, the Nats get to play *checks notes* the Dodgers. In hindsight, this is not good news.
Here’s the latest from Los Angeles:
‘Finally caught a break tonight’: Nats take a tortured history and flip the script (WaPo)
Within 15 seconds in the 11 o'clock hour, the script flipped: from the pained what-ifs and missed chances to the miscues finally biting the other team, putting Trent Grisham in the books with the Kozmas, Paniks, Descalsos, and Wieters of Octobers past. Somehow, it involved beating Josh Hader with Michael A. Taylor, and Davey Martinez making okay decisions.
Patrick Corbin will take the ball for the Nationals in Game 1 against the Dodgers (WaPo)
The Nats won a winner-take-all on Tuesday night. Let's repeat that: the Nats won a winner-take-all game on Tuesday night. It'll be Patrick Corbin on Thursday night, and likely Aníbal Sánchez on Friday — both pitchers who had success against LA earlier this year.
The Nationals’ wild-card win was both thrilling and emotionally exhausting. Of course it was. (WaPo)
"The Nats picked wrong. But they survived it. They picked Max Scherzer, who was ineffective, allowing two homers and three runs before he could even get four outs. The Nats bypassed Stephen Strasburg, who entered in relief and was dominant in three shutout innings. Now it doesn’t matter. Now the Nats move on to Los Angeles and the Dodgers. And, like several Wild-Card winners before them, they arrive with the mystique of a pressure win, a season-is-almost-lost comeback."
Nationals-Brewers: Washington stuns Milwaukee in NL wild-card game (WaPo)
"The team sprinted out of the dugout and toward [Daniel] Hudson. Soto ran in from left, screaming again, but stopped before reaching the dirt. He knelt down to the field, the same field that’s held so much October heartbreak, and slapped his chest twice before joining the celebration. It was, after all, happening because of him."
Martinez explains final wild card roster decisions (MASN)
Davey Martinez gave two of the three extra spots on the bench to Michael A. Taylor and Andrew Stevenson, who scored the tying runs last night.
Soto's clutch hit finally lifts Nats in do-or-die game - Nationals Pastime
"Strasburg faced 10 batters over three innings. Two reached safely, though, one was quickly erased on a double play. He struck out four. He needed only 34 pitches. What would have happened if he started instead of Scherzer? We’ll never know. Then again, it didn’t matter. Because the Nationals did exactly what they did for the last four months. They were down. They could’ve been out. But they found a way to battle back and emerge on top."
Nats go with 9 pitchers: 'Everybody's ready' (MLB.com)
As it turns out, they only needed three.
Washington Nationals ride wild eighth to beat Milwaukee Brewers (ESPN)
A night full of weird errors and unlikely heroes finally came together in favor of the Nationals. Go figure.
Nationals Eliminate Brewers Thanks To Brutal, Brutal Outfield Error (Deadspin)
"Hudson surrendered a one-out single to Lorenzo Cain, but the Brewers, who had the vacant, thousand-yard stares typical of athletes who’ve had victory cruelly yanked away at the last possible moment, failed to muster a late rally. Unbelievably, the Washington Nationals won an elimination game at home to advance in the postseason."
Missed HBP call wasn’t why Brewers lost NL Wild Card game (NBCSports)
"Whatever the reason for Hader’s struggles — adrenaline, nervousness, just an off-night — he is why the Brewers are not advancing into the NLDS. It is not Everitt’s fault, even though he did appear to get the call wrong."
Nationals-Brewers wild card: Washington rallies to reach NLDS (USA Today)
The worst month of Juan Soto's career came in September; it didn't matter at all on Tuesday night.
Three quick observations on the Nationals-Brewers Wild Card Game (The Athletic)
The Wild Card is still cruel. Don't blame Trent Grisham for the marginal run on Josh Hader's catastrophe of an outing. The Nats will, at least to some extent, be a worthy challenger of the Dodgers. Maybe.
How to manage the Nationals bullpen in the NL wild-card game (WaPo)
Dusty Baker wouldn't give Max Scherzer a quick hook — but on Tuesday night, Davey Martinez did just that after five innings, handing the game to Stephen Strasburg, who ended up getting the win.