The 2019 Washington Nationals became the ninth team in Major League Baseball history to come back from 12 games under .500 to make it to the postseason, joining the 1914 Boston Braves, the 1973 New York Mets, the 1975 Pittsburgh Pirates, 1981 Kansas City Royals, 1989 Toronto Blue Jays, 2005 Houston Astros, 2009 Colorado Rockies, and the 2013 Los Angeles Dodgers.
After they were swept by the New York Mets in Citi Field on May 23rd, the Nationals were 19-31.
Following last night’s win over the Philadelphia Phillies, Davey Martinez’s club is 69-38 since hitting rock bottom with the fourth straight loss to the Mets in late May.
When did the second-year skipper start to believe his team could actually turn it around?
“Day 1,” Martinez told MASN’s Alex Chappell when he spoke on the field in Nationals Park after the Nats clinched a spot in the Wild Card game.
“I’m telling you, Day 1,” he reiterated. “I can remember having a conversation May 24th in my office, and I said this team will turn around. And look where we’re at today.”
Asked to put what he was feeling into words, Martinez said he couldn’t do it.
“I can’t put my emotions into words, I can tell you that right now, but what these guys went through all year, man it’s unbelievable. It really is.
“I’m proud of every one of them and it’s not over, we’re not over. We’re going to stay in it. We’re going to stay in the fight. We’re going to stay in the fight.”
“Stay in the Fight” is one the catchphrases the manager has repeated all season, as he tried to keep things positive in the clubhouse. He repeated his other mantra when asked how he and the team would approach the Wild Card Game and the NLDS if they can win their way in next week.
The key to continuing what they started in May? “1-0,” Martinez said. “1-0 every day. 1-0.”
EVEN MAX SCHERZER'S GOGGLES HAVE HETEROCHROMIA. pic.twitter.com/oU7xxm5eYx— Subscribe to Cut4 on YouTube!!!! (@Cut4) September 25, 2019
And now ... WE DANCE!#CLINCHED // #STAYINTHEFIGHT pic.twitter.com/qiFUxAJdd4— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) September 25, 2019
The celebration has begun pic.twitter.com/nHBka0raL0— Kelyn Soong (@KelynSoong) September 25, 2019
Ugh! Ever taken* darn typos https://t.co/uSipyP884e— Kelyn Soong (@KelynSoong) September 25, 2019
You knew it was coming... Baby Shark, postseason style. pic.twitter.com/XRSBuAQIKu— Chase Hughes (@ChaseHughesNBCS) September 25, 2019
The pitch. The pause. The emotion. #SeptemberBaseball, baby. pic.twitter.com/fsGkyu111E— MLB (@MLB) September 25, 2019
M-V-P! M-V-P! M-V-P!#CLINCHED // #STAYINTHEFIGHT pic.twitter.com/Az712Nk2G6— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) September 25, 2019
DC dance party. pic.twitter.com/OBI0GXFknu— Eddie Matz (@ESPNeddiematz) September 25, 2019