Sep 1, 2012, 4:44 AM EDT
Associated Press photo
Gio Gonzalez got a shaving cream pie to the face after his first career shutout.
Chants of “Let’s go Gio!” as the ninth inning began. A Gatorade shower and shaving cream pie to the face that came moments later. Thumping music in the clubhouse after another lopsided victory. And then applause from those remaining players watching the Braves blow a ninth-inning lead to the Phillies.
These are the sights and sounds of a pennant race, and Washington is smack-dab in the middle of one right now.
A 10-0 whitewashing of the Cardinals Friday night gave the Nationals as many wins as they posted in all of 2011 — one shy of the club record — with 31 games still to play. Atlanta’s meltdown shortly after extended Washington’s lead to 6 1/2 games and lowered the magic number for the NL East title to 25.
“We have a long ways to go, and we haven’t done anything yet,” Ryan Zimmerman cautioned. “But what we have done is give this city a baseball team to cheer for, and they’ve wanted that for a long time.”
COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY
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