Five things you need to know about the Washington Nationals ahead of Tuesday's Game 1 of the World Series:
-This is their first World Series appearance in franchise history, leaving the Seattle Mariners as the lone MLB club yet to make it to the Fall Classic.
-The Nationals sat 12 games under .500 May 23 and battled back to take a wild card spot. They used a three-run eighth inning to advance past the Milwaukee Brewers to face the Los Angeles Dodgers, the team with the NL’s best record. From there, they advanced to their first NLCS appearance after a 5-game series and swept the Cardinals to reach their first World Series.
-Despite clinching the NLCS Oct. 15, manager Dave Martinez mentioned his team turned a negative situation into a positive one and embraced a practice in the rain before coming down to Houston.
“Yesterday the weather was miserable in Washington, and we had a scheduled workout. I didn't think we were going to be able to do anything. The boys came out. We had a sim game in the rain. The weather was cold. They were all into it. Sanchez threw, a couple of our bullpen guys threw to the hitters, we had a good time. They're all in. They're ready. These guys are excited to be here, and let's go have some fun,” Martinez said at Monday’s media day at Minute Maid Park.
-Their pitching rotation is led by Max Scherzer and Anibal Sanchez who spearheaded the rotation of the Detroit Tigers from 2012-14 along with current Astro Justin Verlander.
-They come in on a 16-2 tear over their last 18 games, the best run in Nationals history. Before the club moved to Washington, D.C., they played as the Montreal Expos. The Canadian team went on a similar run several times, most recently from July 23 to Aug. 10, 1994.