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Washington Nationals' Andrew Stevenson, right, celebrates his inside-the-park home run with Trea Turner, left, during the fifth inning of the first baseball game of a doubleheader against the New York Mets, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Washington. The game is a makeup from Sept. 25. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Nationals sweep doubleheader, eliminate Mets from playoff contention

- Associated Press

The New York Mets were eliminated from playoff contention in a mistake-filled loss to the Nationals in the opener of a doubleheader on Saturday, and not much changed in the nightcap as an error extended a big inning for Washington, which won 5-3 to sweep the twinbill.

Nationals' title defense derailed by COVID-19, injuries, free agency

- Associated Press

A year after winning the franchise's first championship thanks to a historic turnaround, the Nationals woke up Thursday in last place in the NL East with a 23-33 record and no mathematical chance of returning to the playoffs in a pandemic-shortened 2020.

Washington Nationals center fielder Michael A. Taylor climbs the wall in vain on a home run by Philadelphia Phillies' Bryce Harper during the sixth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Harper's two homers lift Phillies, help eliminate Nationals

- Associated Press

All Harper did was smack a pair of homers to help his current club, the Philadelphia Phillies, keep their playoff hopes afloat and eliminate his former club, the Washington Nationals, from playoff contention a year after they won the World Series.

Washington Nationals' Yadiel Hernandez, top, is welcomed after his game-ending, two-run home run during the eighth inning of the second baseball game of the team's doubleheader against the Philadelphia Phillies, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, in Washington. The Nationals won 8-7. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Hernandez's walkoff home run helps Nationals sweep Phillies

Associated Press

The Philadelphia Phillies tumbled out of a playoff position, getting swept in a doubleheader by the Washington Nationals when Yadiel Hernandez hit a game-ending, two-run homer in the eighth inning off Brandon Workman for an 8-7 win in Tuesday night's second game.

Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg, right, walks with a member of the training staff as he heads to the dugout after leaving the game during the first inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, Friday, Aug. 14, 2020, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)  **FILE**

Defending World Series champion Nationals never found their groove

- The Washington Times

In a year that was supposed to be about defending their title, the Nationals failed to gain any sort of positive traction from the very beginning of the season. Instead, they're now likely to be in line for a top-five draft pick. With the regular season in its final week -- Washington's last game is Sunday -- here are the five main reasons why this year was a bust for the Nationals.

Washington Nationals starting pitcher Austin Voth, right, celebrates his complete-game win with catcher Yan Gomes after the first baseball game of a doubleheader against the Philadelphia Phillies, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, in Washington.  (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Nationals ride Voth's arm past Phillies in Game 1 of doubleheader

Associated Press

Austin Voth threw his first career complete game and earned his first victory in 10 starts this season, and the Washington Nationals staved off playoff elimination with a 5-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies in the first game of a doubleheader Tuesday.

Washington Nationals' Trea Turner, center, celebrates after a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Nationals keep Harper hitless, hurt Phillies' playoff hopes with win

- Associated Press

Bryce Harper was hitless in his return from back stiffness and Philadelpia manager Joe Girardi was ejected in the third inning of a 5-1 loss to the Washington Nationals on Monday night that dropped the Phillies back to .500 and hurt their playoff hopes.

Tampa Bay Rays' Manuel Margot (13) steals second base as Washington Nationals shortstop Carter Kieboom (8) is late with the tag during the seventh inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Yarbrough ends 16-game skid, Rays beat Nationals

- Associated Press

Ryan Yarbrough stopped a personal 16-game winless streak, Nate Lowe homered and the AL East-leading Tampa Bay Rays beat the Washington Nationals 6-1 on Tuesday night.