By Sally Fahey
The Nats were busy celebrating their wild card clinching on Tuesday and night, and reporters asked star third baseman Anthony Rendon if the team’s inspired play since late May, which helped them recover from a 19-31 start, could propel the Nationals toward the organization’s first playoff series victory. That’s when he made his pitch to fans.
“I don’t know,” Rendon said. “It would have been nice if we had more people out there tonight. It is what it is. Hopefully, they’ll show up later on in the year.”
The Nationals lead the Milwaukee Brewers by one game for the top NL wild card spot. Barring an epic collapse, the Brewers will be their opponent in the winner-take-all bout and an NL Division Series date with the Los Angeles Dodgers as the prize. The Nationals and Brewers will be jostling for home-field advantage for the contest in their final four games.
The Brewers have two games left with the Cincinnati Reds before a three-game set against the Colorado Rockies. The Nationals will see the Phillies twice more prior to welcoming the Cleveland Indians — themselves in a wild card race — for the final three games of the regular season.
The Nationals’ turnaround coincided with Rendon’s sizzling summer. He vaulted himself into the MVP conversation with 34 home runs, 122 RBI and a 1.020 OPS.