Defending champion Nationals eliminated from playoff contention
Maddie Meyer / Getty Images Sport / Getty

There will be a new World Series winner in 2020.

The defending champion Washington Nationals were officially eliminated from postseason contention Wednesday with their 12-3 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies, and the San Francisco Giants' win over the Colorado Rockies.

The defeat marks the end of a difficult and abbreviated championship defense for the Nationals, who authored one of the most shocking World Series upsets in history last October. The team was facing long odds to repeat from the beginning of the season after three players - including starter Joe Ross and franchise icon Ryan Zimmerman - chose to opt out due to the pandemic.

Injuries hit Washington hard almost as soon as the campaign began. World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg, who re-signed on a seven-year, $245-million contract this offseason, was perhaps the biggest loss - the 32-year-old made just two starts before undergoing season-ending surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome. Second baseman Starlin Castro's broken wrist and closer Sean Doolittle's oblique injury were other key losses.

The Nats currently have 14 players - including 10 pitchers - on the IL.

Washington's elimination means MLB will go without a repeat World Series champion for a 20th consecutive season. The New York Yankees were the most recent team to run it back when they won three straight fall classics from 1998-2000.

Defending champion Nationals eliminated from playoff contention
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