The Washington Nationals ended a long drought for the nation's capital Thursday night by clinching a playoff spot, returning the District of Columbia to baseball's postseason for the first time in nearly 80 years. But back then, the only postseason was the World Series. There were no wild card teams and no playoffs. The Washington Senators _ also known as the Nationals _ had to beat out seven other teams in the American League standings to win the 1933 pennant.
The ball nestled safely into the glove of catcher Kurt Suzuki as the scene behind him exploded. The final out in a win D.C. had waited 79 years to celebrate coming on a swinging strikeout. With their 4-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers Thursday night — a crisp fall evening in Washington — a D.C. baseball team sealed its first postseason berth since 1933.
Here's how the pennant races look with exactly two weeks left:
Buoyed by cortisone shots to the shoulders of third baseman Ryan Zimmerman and second baseman Danny Espinosa, and with the return of left fielder Michael Morse, the Washington Nationals played much more like themselves in a 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first game of a doubleheader.
The Washington Nationals came as close as they ever have to a playoff berth on Wednesday evening.
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.
Early Monday afternoon as Gio Gonzalez strolled through the visitors' clubhouse at Citi Field, his ears perked up as the televisions – tuned to MLBNetwork – began to discuss the Nationals' left-hander.
Bryce Harper had his first four-hit game and pinch-hitter Tyler Moore launched a go-ahead homer off R.A. Dickey in the seventh inning to send the Washington Nationals past the punchless New York Mets 5-3 on Tuesday night.
Gio Gonzalez earned his big league-leading 19th victory and the Washington Nationals backed him with three home runs to beat the listless New York Mets 5-1 Monday night at Citi Field.