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Instant analysis: Nats 3, Dodgers 1

Sep 19, 2012, 11:13 PM EDT

Associated Press photo
Ian Desmond turns a double play in the top of the first inning.

Game in a nutshell: The Nationals' 2012 season will extend to at least a 163rd game. And if you don't think that's significant, you don't fully appreciate the mostly sad history of Washington baseball. With a victory in the first half of today's doubleheader against the Dodgers, the Nats secured their 90th win of the season and lowered their magic number for clinching a playoff berth to 1. Another win tonight would officially secure at least the Wild Card, but even in the absolute, worst-case scenario, the Nationals know they could do no worse than tie for the final Wild Card berth and thus guarantee at least a tiebreaker game the day after the regular season ends. How did they pull off this victory? They got a quality start out of Jordan Zimmermann, even though the right-hander labored through much of his six innings. They scored three runs, even though none was plated via a base hit. And they got some shutdown work out of their bullpen, with Sean Burnett, Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard recording some big outs down the stretch to secure the win that put the Nationals within one step of the postseason.

Hitting highlight: Who says you need to come through with clutch hits to produce runs? The Nationals disproved that theory in this game,Read more ยป

  1. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 19, 2012 at 11:14 PM

    9 & 1

  2. natsfan1a - Sep 19, 2012 at 11:17 PM

    Wheeeeeeeeeeeeee!!

  3. Secret wasian man - Sep 19, 2012 at 11:17 PM

    Wheeeeeeeew. Nice job fellas. I just finished climbing down off the ledge.

  4. btharner - Sep 19, 2012 at 11:19 PM

    Went to this website while watching the game on MLB.tv on Roku. Forgot there is a slight delay with online broadcasts. It was nice to relax during Kemp's final AB, knowing the outcome.Great job guys. 90 wins, that's four straight years of 10 win improvement, which is realatively rare.

  5. MicheleS - Sep 19, 2012 at 11:23 PM

    6 up on the Braves. That is nice!

  6. natsfan1a - Sep 19, 2012 at 11:26 PM

    Heading back down to the tv room. Go, John-Boy! Go, NATS!! Go, cortisone!!!

  7. Candide - Sep 19, 2012 at 11:35 PM

    Cunegonde came home in time for the 9th inning.When Clipp got to two outs, she hollered at me to "Stand up! It's the last out!""Huh?" I cleverly responded."Get up! It's the last out! Everyone is standing up, you have to get up too!"Is this normal behavior when you're at home????Or have I created a monster?

  8. mick - Sep 19, 2012 at 11:35 PM

    What a feeling, 90 wins, and post season 1 game away since 1933…. when you think of the history that has passed since that time, my goodness!!!!

  9. mick - Sep 19, 2012 at 11:39 PM

    1933…. FDR only in office 6 months (back then the term began in March), Baseball was one of the few diversions people had during the Great Depression and the Nats provided it well, but it is all humbling as well, the horror and night mare in Germany was just beginning….. but alas, we are here today on the eve of something special!

  10. Gonat - Sep 19, 2012 at 11:44 PM

    Let's Play Two!!

  11. median - Sep 19, 2012 at 11:56 PM

    The post season is NOT 1 game away. Every beat writer (and Carp) has it wrong. They must all be getting the info from the same place. Simple math: Nats have 57 losses with 15 left to play. Cards have 70 losses right now. For Nats to clinch a WC spot, they can lose 12 more, so they need 3 wins. The magic number is 2 in order to clinch a play-IN game vs. Cards.

  12. Santangelo for President 2012 - Sep 20, 2012 at 12:11 AM

    Median what you are forgetting is if the Nats fall to the wild card spot the Braves win the division. In that scenario the Cardinals have the first wild card spot so their record is not relevant. The magic number is one.

  13. median - Sep 20, 2012 at 12:29 AM

    Santangelo – you are completely correct. I gave myself a dope-slap.

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