WASHINGTON -- The Nationals are approaching uncharted waters.
Their latest walk-off win, 1-0 over the D-backs on Thursday, capped a four-game sweep at Nationals Park and gave the club 10 straight victories. On their way to tying the Royals for the longest streak in the Majors this year, the Nats have celebrated five walk-offs in their past six games, making them the first club to do so since the 1986 Astros, according to Elias Sports.
That "absolutely epic" streak, as outfielder Bryce Harper described it on Wednesday, puts the Nats three games shy of the Washington record, accomplished by the Senators from Aug. 8-20, 1933. It also ties the longest in both team history (since 2005) and franchise history (since the Expos began in 1969). Here's a look at those five 10-game streaks:
Breakdown: June 12-21; 7 home (Nationals Park), 3 road; 3 at Mets, 3 vs. Pirates, 4 vs. D-backs
Stats: Run differential of 46-23, 7 one-run games, 2 extra innings, 5 walk-offs
Key players: Stephen Strasburg 2-0, 0.60 ERA in 2 starts; Doug Fister 1-0, 0.00 ERA in 2 starts; Jayson Werth 6-for-15, 4 BB, 2 2B, 3 RBIs in 5 games since returning from injury.
The Nats began the streak at 62-51 and with a four-game lead in the National League East, which has since swelled to 7 1/2. Their starting rotation has led the way with a 1.34 ERA, and the late-inning heroics by the offense have overcome three blown saves. From Saturday through Thursday, the Nats have stormed the field after walk-off wins on a Wilson Ramos double, a Scott Hairston sacrifice fly, an Adam LaRoche homer, an Anthony Rendon single and a D-backs throwing error.
Breakdown: From June 2-12; 10 home (RFK Stadium); 1 vs. Braves, 3 vs. Marlins, 3 vs. A's, 3 vs. Mariners
Stats: Run differential of 51-26, 5 one-run games, 1 extra innings, 1 walk-off
Key players: OF Ryan Church 11-for-28 (.393), 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 8 RBIs; Luis Ayala 3-0 in relief; Chad Cordero 5 saves.
It was Major League Baseball's first season back in Washington, and Hall of Famer Frank Robinson's club managed a respectable .500 record. Gary Bennett started the streak when his go-ahead, three-run double capped a five-run eighth-inning rally to beat the Braves, and Church won games against the Marlins with a walk-off sacrifice fly and go-ahead, three-run homer. During this stretch, they faced current Nats LaRoche (Braves) and Matt Thornton (Mariners).
Breakdown: From June 6-16; 9 home (Olympic Stadium), 1 road; 4 vs. Cubs, 2 vs. Phillies, 3 vs. Tigers, 1 at Orioles
Stats: Run differential of 52-26, 5 one-run games, no extra innings, 1 walk-off
Key players: F.P. Santangelo 17-for-38 (.447), 7 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBIs, 11 runs; Jim Bullinger 2-0, 1.59 ERA in 2 starts
Felipe Alou's Expos finished 78-84, but got blazing hot for this stretch behind Santangelo, the Montreal leadoff man and current Nats television broadcaster. On June 7, Santangelo enjoyed the only two-homer game of his career in a 5-0 win over the Cubs, as Carlos Perez threw the Expos' second straight shutout. He followed Bullinger, who threw a six-hitter against Chicago after coming in with a 7.35 ERA in 12 starts. But the best pitching performance came on June 14 against the Tigers, as Pedro Martinez twirled a 14-strikeout, three-hit shutout in a 1-0 victory.
Breakdown: From June 4-13; 10 home (Olympic Stadium); 2 vs. Cubs, 4 vs. Cardinals, 3 vs. Padres, 1 vs. Dodgers
Stats: Run differential of 62-26, 3 one-run games, 1 extra innings, 2 walk-offs
Key players: Andre Dawson 11-for-29 (.379), 8 BB, 3 2B, 3B, HR, 10 RBIs; Steve Rogers 3-0, 1.80 ERA in 3 starts.
Dick Williams' club won 90 games, finishing one behind the Phillies in the NL East. During this tear, they got four complete games from their starting pitchers, including three in a row at the beginning. For dramatics, Bill Almon provided a 13th-inning walk-off single for a 2-1 win over the Cardinals on June 7, and four days later Ron LeFlore came up with his own against the Padres. On June 8, Dawson notched the first of five five-hit games in his Hall of Fame career, in a 9-4 win over St. Louis.
Breakdown: From Aug. 28-Sept. 6; 8 home (Olympic Stadium), 2 road; 2 vs. Astros, 3 vs. Reds, 3 vs. Mets, 2 at Cubs
Stats: Run differential of 63-30, 5 one-run games, 2 extra innings, 3 walk-offs
Key players:Warren Cromartie 21-for-43 (.488), 3 2B, HR; Dawson 13-for-38 (.342), 2B, 3 3B, 3 HR, 12 RBIs; David Palmer 3-0, 0.82 ERA in 3 starts.
The Expos finished 95-65, but settled for second in the NL East, two games behind the Pirates, despite this late-season surge. Cromartie set the red-hot pace out of the leadoff spot and even drew a walk-off walk to win the first game. Two games later, Dawson hit an RBI triple and Gary Carter a sacrifice fly to tie the score at 7-7 in the ninth, and Rodney Scott's pinch-hit RBI single won it an inning later. Palmer capped the streak on Sept. 6 at Wrigley Field, tossing eight scoreless innings while Carter homered for the game's only run.