DETROIT – Three former Detroit Tigers pitchers were basically perfect -- including two near-no-hitters -- in the NLCS to lead the Washington Nationals to the World Series.
The Nationals needed a late clutch hit from Juan Soto to survive the wild card game against the Milwaukee Brewers, but now, just weeks later, they're heading to the World Series after knocking out the powerful Los Angeles Dodgers and sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals.
Washington wouldn't be where it is without the help of former Tigers pitchers.
Anibal Sanchez continued his career resurgence this season, but nobody expected him to flirt with a no-hitter in a playoff game.
Sanchez took the ball in Game 1 of the NLCS against the Cardinals and carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning, coming up just four outs short of history.
In the end, Sanchez settled for 7.2 shutout innings, allowing just one hit and one walk while striking out five batters.
Washington needed every bit of that performance, winning 2-0.
The very next day, Max Scherzer carried his own no-hitter into the bottom of the seventh inning. He allowed a leadoff single that was later erased by a double play as the Nationals cruised to a 3-1 victory.
Scherzer finished the game with seven shutout innings, allowing one hit and two walks while striking out 11 batters.
Sanchez and Scherzer basically gave the Nationals a 2-0 series lead by themselves, setting up the possible four-game sweep in front of their home fans.
As a cherry on top, former Tigers closer Fernando Rodney was also perfect in the series, pitching a scoreless eighth inning in Game 3.
Rodney came in with an 8-1 lead and got a flyout before striking out St. Louis' two best hitters to essentially slam the door on a 3-0 series lead.
Sanchez, Scherzer and Rodney combined to throw 15.2 scoreless innings, allowing two hits and three walks while striking out 18 batters.
The Tigers were the worst team in baseball by 6.5 games this season. Their run differential of minus 333 was the worst in the league by 81 runs.
The Tigers face a long road back to contention, and it only makes it harder for fans to see former players competing for a World Series when they couldn't quite bring one to Detroit.