25. Washington Nationals vs St. Louis Cardinals: 2012 NLDS Game 5
MLB Postseason Moment: October 12, 2012. St. Louis Cardinals at the Washington Nationals. Game 5 of the NLDS. The Cardinals win a thriller 9-7, but the score does not tell the whole story.
Why It’s Memorable: The Nationals jumped out to an early 6-0 lead, as they were looking to earn their first-ever trip to the National League Championship Series. The early charge was led by home runs from phenom Bryce Harper and Mr. National himself Ryan Zimmerman.
The St. Louis Cardinals charged back, cutting the lead to 6-5, but the Nationals created separation with an insurance run in the 8th inning. The Nationals were just one out away from advancing to the NLCS when a deflected single off the bat of utility man Daniel Descalso tied the game up at seven apiece.
The Cardinals weren’t done, when Pete Kozma — maybe one of the most disappointing first-round picks in team history — made that pick worthwhile on this play alone, delivering the death blow with a game-winning two-run single.
The Nationals have had several teams with the promise to win World titles, but the team still has not made an appearance in the NLCS, while the Cardinals made the Fall Classic in 2013, without returning since.
2018 will be a do or die season for the Nationals, with franchise player Bryce Harper in the final year of a large contract, where he is expected to leave for the bright lights of a big city. Meanwhile, the Cardinals have a young team and look to return to the “Cardinal Way” in 2018.