The Washington Nationals are headed to their first-ever World Series as there was little doubt about the outcome of Tuesday's Game 4 against the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Nationals jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first inning and hardly looked back as Howie Kendrick took home NLCS MVP honors. Patrick Corbin was good enough on the mound, allowing four runs over five innings but striking out 12 batters. The Washington bullpen allowed just one hit over the final four innings of the game.
In 10 playoff games, Kendrick is hitting .289/.341/.474 with a home run and nine RBI.
Washington sent Dakota Hudson into the dugout early, shelling him for five hits and all seven runs (four earned) in just 1/3 of an inning. Adam Wainwright stopped the bleeding and the bullpen held firm, but the damage had been done.
At one point the Nationals were 19-31 and they needed to win the National League Wild Card Game just to get into the NLDS. They are just the fourth time in Major League history to reach the World Series after being 12 games under .500.
The Astros will wait for the winner of the ALCS, but will be traveling to either Houston or New York for Games 1 and 2 of the World Series.