- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 4, 2012

April 12: Nats blow late lead before pulling out wild win vs. Reds — The Nationals opened the season 10-3 with plenty of victories such as their April 12 home opener, with superb starting pitching and just enough runs. A wild-pitch walk-off resulted in a 3-2 victory. 

April 28: Nationals call up Bryce Harper — Earlier than they expected and because of injuries ravaging the middle of their order, the Nationals called up their phenom from Triple-A for his major league debut. Harper went 1 for 3 in a 4-3 loss to the Dodgers.

May 6: Bryce Harper steals home, Jayson Werth breaks wrist, Cole Hamels is “Fake Tough” — Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels hit Bryce Harper with a pitch, Harper stole home, Hamels admitted it was a purpose pitch, GM Mike Rizzo called him “Fake Tough.” Jayson Werth also broke his wrist and would miss the next three months.

May 12: Wilson Ramos tears ACL, is lost for season and becomes seventh of nine projected Opening Day starters to be injured — Michael Morse, Jayson Werth, Ramos, Ian Desmond, Ryan Zimmerman, Drew Storen, all spend time on the disabled list.

June 8: Harper, Strasburg have game for the ages at Fenway in Nats win — Harper goes 3 for 5 with HR, 3 RBI; Strasburg strikes out 13 in 7-4 win to start a 6-0 road trip through Boston and Toronto.

APRIL 28: Injuries to the middle of the order forced general manager Mike Rizzo to call up outfielder Bryce Harper from Triple A Syracuse earlier than planned. The 19-year-old phenom went 1 for 3 in a 4-3 loss to the Dodgers in his debut and has never looked back.
APRIL 28: Injuries to the middle of the order forced general manager ... more >

July 10: Harper, Gonzalez, Strasburg, Desmond give Nationals four players on All-Star team and help secure home field in World Series for National League — Ian Desmond did not attend game, nursing a sore oblique, but Gonzalez, Strasburg and Harper played a small role in the NL’s 8-0 win.

July 21: Back from Syracuse, Lannan gives Nats huge pick me up — With their lead in the NL East down to just 21/2games, John Lannan works 7 innings in a 5-2 victory over the Braves in his first start of the season. The Nationals proceeded to go 8-1 in their next nine games.

Aug. 7: Roger Bernadina makes game-saving catch in Houston — Bernadina gives his entrant into the catch of the year race with a grab that ended the game and secured a Nationals victory.

Aug. 15: Nationals finish 8-2 road trip by taking 5 of 6 in season series vs. Giants — The Nationals have the best road record in the majors and their dominant, three-city West Coast swing is a big reason why.

Sept. 8: Nationals shut down Stephen Strasburg — Feeling fatigue and media hype had taken its toll, the Nationals shut down their ace one start earlier than planned.

Sept. 20: Nationals clinch first playoff berth in D.C. since 1933 — The Nationals clinched at least a wild-card spot with a 4-1 win over the Dodgers. It’s the first playoff berth for a D.C. baseball team in 79 years.

Sept. 22: Gio Gonzalez becomes the Nationals’ first 20-game winner — Gonzalez falls flat on his face on one pitch, but he tosses seven innings and allows no earned runs to win his 20th game and continue to make his case for the NL Cy Young Award.

Oct. 1: Nationals clinch NL East title — In the middle of the ninth inning of a 2-0 loss to the Phillies, the Nats get word that a Braves loss at Pittsburgh has made Washington the NL East champion.