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There was no true defining blow to mark the end of the Washington Nationals’ game Friday night, though it ended unceremoniously. No death knell that began to ring to mark where the game went from being tied, and possibly won, to a 2-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves. It was the little things.
There is nothing about what John Lannan has done this season that seems normal to him. He looks around at the starting pitchers the Washington Nationals have used for the majority of this season, the power arms that pound hitters day after day, and knows he does not fit the mold.
The Washington Nationals won Tuesday night. They beat the New York Mets 5-3 to win their 88th game of the season.
While the calendar points to this weekend for the Washington Nationals' final showdown with the Atlanta Braves, a three-game series at Turner Field, manager Davey Johnson's focus remains on the New York Mets.
The gap between the Washington Nationals and the Chicago Cubs was made perfectly clear this week at Nationals Park.
In the Nationals' 9-1 victory Wednesday over the Chicago Cubs — a win that lowered their magic number to clinch the National League East to 19 — they became just the third team in the live-ball era to hit six or more home runs in back-to-back games.
As the Washington Nationals milled about their dugout late Tuesday night, with the luxury of a cushy lead over the Chicago Cubs in an 11-5 victory, they allowed themselves to wonder what their closest competition was up to. They glanced out at the out-of-town scoreboard in right field and noticed the Atlanta Braves were losing.
Judging by the standing ovation, Edwin Jackson could have pitched a two-hit, shutout gem for the Washington Nationals on Tuesday night. He didn't. What he did was more than good enough, however.
When the story of the Washington Nationals' 2012 season is fully written, it's expected to hold plenty more celebratory moments with which they can not just mark their organization's progress, but assert its dominance. Their plans contain champagne celebrations and filling the blank space left on the pennants that fly above their scoreboard.