The Washington Times - September 30, 2012, 01:15PM

ST. LOUIS — There was nothing that needed to be said Sunday morning as the Nationals arrived early and cranked up the music in the visitors’ clubhouse. They knew exactly what the day held: the promise of more than one tomorrow. 

The Washington Nationals can clinch a playoff spot Sunday afternoon in St. Louis. If they beat the Cardinals or the Atlanta Braves lose to the New York Mets, the corks will come off the champagne and 159 games worth of work will have been worth it.


So there was no rest for anyone. Not yet. Clinch, and they’ll kick their feet up for a few days.

Even catcher Kurt Suzuki, Saturday night’s hero, was in the lineup for the ninth straight game and in a day game after a night game.

“It’s not time to rest,” said Nationals manager Davey Johnson. “He has said on occasions before, ‘I want ‘em all.’ But the way he’s playing, he might get ‘em all.”

The Nationals will send hometown boy Ross Detwiler to the mound, the second time Detwiler has toed the rubber with a chance to clinch something for the Nationals this season — a fact that was fairly far out of the realm of thinking at this time last year.

“From last year to this year, he’s steadily got to know who he was and been much more consistent,” Johnson said of the left-hander fast becoming one of the best pitchers on his staff and quite possible in the National League. “He’s becoming a pitcher. He still has some growing to do but he knows who he is and knows what he needs to do to be successful up here.”

Here are the full lineups:


Jayson Werth RF
Bryce Harper CF
Ryan Zimmerman 3B
Adam LaRoche 1B
Michael Morse LF
Ian Desmond SS
Danny Espinosa 2B
Kurt Suzuki C
Ross Detwiler P


 Jon Jay CF
Carlos Beltran RF
Matt Holliday LF
Allen Craig 1B
Yadier Molina C
David Freese 3B
Daniel Descalso 2B
Pete Kozma SS
Lance Lynn P