Vet Kendrick takes home honor of NLCS MVP


WASHINGTON — The Nationals are headed to their first World Series.

Fittingly, the player who led them there is going to his first one, too.

Veteran Howie Kendrick was named MVP of the National League Championship Series on Tuesday, with his big bat helping Washington to a four-game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals.

“I can truly say this is the best time of my career, the best moment of my career this year,” Kendrick said upon receiving the award.

Kendrick finished the series 5-for-15 with four doubles and four RBIs. He was at his best in Monday’s Game 3 win, becoming just the fourth player to hit three doubles in an LCS game as part of a 3-for-4, three-RBI night that put Washington on the brink of a pennant.

In Tuesday’s clinching 7-4 win, Kendrick scored the fifth run in Washington’s seven-run first inning.

Kendrick, 36, joined the Nationals in a trade with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2017 and remained as a free agent. He sat out most of 2018 due to a ruptured Achilles, making what happened a year later all the more special.

The 14th-year veteran is a lifetime .294 hitter, but he hit a career-high .344 in 334 at-bats in 2019. He has been just as good in the postseason. His grand slam in the 10th inning beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 5 of the NL Division Series.

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