Minutes after the Wizards recorded their improbable and thrilling win over the star-less Miami Heat on Saturday night, multiple people on Twitter asked me whether history had just been made.
See, the Capitals also won on Saturday, going up 3-2 in their best-of-seven series against the Bruins.
Plus, the Nats beat the Marlins in extra innings on Saturday, improving their amazing record to an amazing 12-4, and amazingly keeping them tied for the Major League lead in wins.
If you join those three paragraphs together, you might notice that this meant the Wizards, Caps and Nats all won on the same calendar day. And so my readers wanted to know if this was a first.
Well, bearing in mind that I’m doing this research at 3:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning, it’s not, but it’s close. Because of their shared arena, and playoff off days, and the NHL lockout, and being good in different years, the Caps and Wizards have won on the same day just six times during baseball season since the Nats arrived.
That includes Saturday night. And before Saturday, only once did the Nats also win on one of those glorious days. That would be April 18, 2006.
What happened on that day? Well, the Nats were off to a horrendous 4-9 start that season, but their bots exploded during a 10-3 win in Philadelphia. Tony Armas got the win, deftly mixing 47 strikes with 41 balls and allowing 11 walks and hits in his six innings. Felix Rodriguez, Mike Stanton and Gary Majewski finished the job.
Daryle Ward, hitting cleanup, knocked a home run. Ryan Church hit a ninth inning grand slam. Ryan Zimmerman — the only holdover — had two doubles and three RBI. Someone named Brendan Harris was a pinch hitter that day. Royce Clayton and Jose Vidro manned the middle of the infield.
Meanwhile, the Wizards were finishing up the regular season, on the way to their first of three straight playoff series against the Cavaliers. They closed the regular season with three straight wins, including a 116-103 home win against the Bucks on April 18.
The starters that day were Gilbert Arenas, Antawn Jamison, Caron Butler, Jared Jeffries and Brendan Haywood. Antonio Daniels, Michael Ruffin and Billy Thomas came off the bench.
Gilbert had 43 points, 5 assists and 4 steals, while going 17-for-19 from the free-throw line. Butler went for 22 and 9, while Jamison had 28 and 9. Daniels had 10 points and 8 assists. The rest of the team combined for 13 points.
The Caps, meanwhile, were wrapping up a miserable season with a 4-1 road win in Tampa, their final game of the campaign.
They got two goals from Jeff Halpern that day, plus tallies from Ben Clymer and Steve Eminger. Brooks Laich and Alex Ovechkin — besides Halpern, the only other carry-overs til today — both had assists. Brent Johnson got the win. Someone named Ivan Majeski — who does not appear to be related to Gary Majewski — also played.
And, not to be obvious, but the Nats were miserable and the Caps were an afterthought in April of 2006. The D.C. sports triple play was thus likely not rejoiced throughout the land.
This time around, the Nats are rocking, and the Caps are rolling, and the Wizards have somehow won three straight games while notching yet another win against one of the NBA’s best teams. So Saturday will be a day to remember for long-suffering D.C. sports fans.
Unless my 3 a.m. research was wrong.