Sep 12, 2012, 5:00 AM EDT
US Presswire photo
The Nationals celebrate their 88th win of the season.
NEW YORK — In expanding the postseason to include two wild-card teams from each league, Major League Baseball opened the door for plenty more franchises to keep themselves in the chase through September.
MLB also, however, lowered the bar to reach the postseason. Had the second wild-card been used over the last decade, the National League would have produced playoff teams with as few as 85 wins. And no team with 91 wins or more would have been left out of October. The average number of wins needed to secure a playoff berth (under the new format) in the NL since 2003: 88.
Guess how many games the Nationals have now won in 2012.
Yes, with a 5-3 victory over the Mets on Tuesday night, the Nationals improved to 88-54. Even if they lose their final 20 games, they could conceivably still wind up reaching the postseason. Win just a couple of times down the stretch, and they’re a shoo-in.
It’s OK to begin the final countdown, folks. Even the manager admits he’s doing it.
“It’s time to be looking at magic numbers,” Davey Johnson said. “And I’ve been looking at them for a while now.”
NL EAST STANDINGS
NL WILD CARD STANDINGS
THE BASEBALL SHOW
ON THE RADIO
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
Follow us on Twitter
- Bryce Harper makes history without one swing
- Nats knock Braves out of the park in 15-1 pummeling
- Harper returns to Nats lineup, Taylor still hurting
- Strasburg will return next week to face Mets
- Nats look to take advantage of softer stretch, starting with Braves
- Updated: Nats add reliever, activate Moore
- Baseball in the District – Nats Insider Mark Zuckerman
- Zimmerman leads Nats not with words but example
- Nationals pull ahead late to get much-needed win vs. Cardinals
- Around the NL East: Mets being cautious with Harvey