Looking back at D.C. playoff history

Looking back at D.C. playoff history
October 5, 2012, 2:43 pm
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When the Nationals begin the National League Division Series on Sunday, it will mark the first playoff game for a Washington baseball team in 79 years. D.C. baseball fans have seen 45 total major league seasons without a playoff appearance in that span and 34 years without a team at all.

It has been a long time coming for baseball in the district, but before the Nationals commence the NLDS and a new era in Washington, their previous playoff appearances deserve a look back. A Washington baseball team made the playoffs just three times in the 20th century, here is a look at those series.

1924 World Series

Washington Senators vs. New York Giants

Result: Won in seven games

At 36 years old and in his 18th major league season, Senators pitching great Walter Johnson finally got to play in a World Series with the 1924 team. The Big Train actually lost both of his starts, including a 12-strikeout effort in Game 1, but earned a win in relief with four scoreless innings in Game 7.

The Senators came back from down in the series 0-1, 1-2, and 2-3 to win the final two games by one run each. Both Game 1 and Game 7 lasted 12 innings, the decisive one won on a walkoff hit by Earl McNeely at Griffith Stadium.

Washington won the citys only World Series and beat a Giants team with eight future Hall of Famers on the field and another in the dugout in manager John McGraw.

1925 World Series

Washington Senators vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

Result: Lost in seven games

Johnson and the Senators were back in the World Series just a year later, this time around seeing a near exact opposite result. This time Johnson won his starts in Game 1 and Game 4, but lost Game 7 in relief. And instead of playing from behind, the Senators jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the series and even won Game 4 by a score of 4-0.

Pittsburgh won the last three games of the series including a Game 7 mired by heavy rain and fog. The Senators entered the eighth inning up 7-6 with Johnson on the mound. Johnson got the first two outs before a Pirates rally that scored two runs and set them up for the victory. Senators manager Bucky Harris received criticism for keeping Johnson in the game too long afterwards from fans and even the Commissioner of the American League.

1933 World Series

Washington Senators vs. New York Giants

Result: Lost in five games

Nine years after their 1924 meeting, the Giants got revenge on the Senators in a series that ended in two extra innings games. The Senators earned the A.L. pennant that season with 99 wins which is still the best for a D.C. baseball team.

Both Game 4 and Game 5 were games the Senators came back to tie, but ended up losing in extras. In Game 4 Washington tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the seventh with an RBI single by catcher Luke Sewell. New Yorks Blondy Ryan then hit the game-winning run in the top of the 11th off Monte Weaver.

The Senators tied Game 5 in the sixth inning with a three-run homer by Fred Schulte off Hal Schumacher of the Giants. The game would remain scoreless until the tenth inning when Future Hall of Famer Mel Ott scored the go-ahead run with a solo homer off Jack Russell.