Rizzo spent his time Wednesday reliving the celebration that insued Monday night after the Nats’ clinched the NL East title when second-place Atlanta lost 2-1 in Pittsburgh. Despite a 2-0 defeat to Philadelphia at home, the Nationals popped bottles and celebrated their first division title since moving to D.C. in 2005.
Thanks to strong pitching from Gio Gonzalez and Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper’s burst of energy and Adam LaRoche’s slugging, the Washington Nationals won enough from April through September that even a loss on the first day of October could not stop them from clinching the NL East.
Forget Stephen Strasburg and Jayson Werth. The Washington Nationals’ true MVP this year may be Ryan Zimmerman.
Gio Gonzalez became the majors’ first 20-game winner in 2012, and the first pitcher for a Washington baseball team with 200 strikeouts since Walter Johnson in 1916, taking a shutout into the sixth inning Saturday to help the Nationals close in on their first NL East title by beating the Milwaukee Brewers 10-4.
The Washington Nationals brought postseason baseball back to the nation’s capital for the first time since 1933, clinching a playoff spot Thursday night with a 4-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Nationals are sitting on D.C.’s first winning season in baseball in 43 years, with the most All-Stars representing the team since it’s inception 7 years ago, so it’s only fitting that, with an opening in 2015, Commissioner Selig brings the mid-summer classic back to the nation’s capital.
At the halfway point of the season, the Washington Nationals have a commanding lead over the NL East, and in just three seasons, have gone from the laughingstock of the league, to one of the most feared lineups in all of baseball. The only question is: Can they keep it up?
Ryan Zimmerman’s line drive to right-center kept going — and going and going — until it landed in the first row, highlighting another big Fourth of July for the resurgent third baseman and as the NL East-leading Washington Nationals beat the San Francisco Giants 9-4 Wednesday.
Matt Wieters hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning to interrupt Baltimore’s agonizing offensive struggle, and the Orioles rallied to beat the Washington Nationals 2-1 Sunday in a duel between neighboring rivals.
Washington has seen its share of high-profile draft picks race from the draft to the playing field (Zimmerman, Strasburg, Harper to name a few), but in hockey (aside from Ovechkin) it takes a bit longer for a player’s talents to materialize onto the ice. The Capitals bring their youngsters up quicker than most, but don’t expect to see any of tonight’s draft picks anytime soon.