By this point, you have likely already been made aware of the Washington Nationals’ (91-58) series win over the Los Angeles Dodgers last night and the playoff implications surrounding said win. But because this is the first time the nation’s capital has been able to express what follows in 79 years, it bears repeating – the Nationals are officially headed to the postseason.
As exciting as the news is, the Nationals still have some games to win before the real celebration begins. Last night’s win clinched a Wild Card berth and as manager Davey Johnson has made clear on numerous occasions, they will settle for nothing less than a division title.
“That was fun but it’s not what I had my eye on,” Johnson said, “It’s a nice step to get here, but every manager that’s leading a division, that’s the only thing that matters – winning your division.”
The team’s magic number for clinching the National League East still sits at eight. In order to chip away at it they will need to take a few games from the red-hot Milwaukee Brewers during the four-game series that begins tonight when Brewers right-hander Shaun Marcum takes on Nationals right-hander Edwin Jackson. Continue reading
There is something to be said of Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson. After all, you do not just luck your way into the playoffs with four different franchises. If you did, there would probably be more than two managers throughout the many years of major league history to have done so. But looking back through the record books, it seems that Billy Martin is the only other to have achieved such a milestone.
No, there is definitely something to be said of Johnson and it seems Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth said it best just minutes after the Nationals clinched the first playoff appearance for a Washington baseball team in nearly eight decades.
“There’s a lot of people around here that you can point fingers at that had a lot to do with the change in direction and everything that goes into that in the ballclub and the organization, but none any bigger than Davey,” Werth said. Continue reading
There are many things to be said of Ross Detwiler, the Washington Nationals’ power left-hander.
Presumably, you were aware of that juicy tidbit, provided you have watched alongside the rest of the Washington Metropolitan Area as he has developed into a frontline-caliber starter since his selection in the 2007 MLB First-Year Player Draft by the Nationals.
His prowess was on full display last night as he led the Nationals to a series win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on six innings of one-run ball, through which he allowed just three hits and a walk while striking out five.
With the victory, he added another talking point to any discussion involving him by notching his 10th win of the season, marking the first time he has reached double digits in the win column as a professional.
Now, on its own, that might not be seen as much of an achievement. But because in doing so, Detwiler became the pitcher of record for the game that clinched the first playoff berth for a Washington baseball team in 79 years and will forever be remembered by Nationals fans. Continue reading