Sep 28, 2012, 4:36 AM EDT
Associated Press photo
Michael Morse rounds the bases after hitting his first of two homers.
PHILADELPHIA — They’ve won 95 games, matching the franchise record. They’ve won more games than they’ve lost every month this season. They’ve played .643 ball since snapping a five-game losing streak in Miami on August 29, clubbing 51 homers during those 28 games.
But as the final week of the regular season arrives, the Nationals have yet to celebrate anything, aside from the fact they’re guaranteed to play at least one playoff game in October.
Even with Thursday night’s 7-3 thumping of the Phillies, the Nationals only inched closer to the NL East title. Their magic number now at 3, they can’t clinch the division until Saturday night in St. Louis at the earliest.
For that, they can thank the scorching-hot Braves, who simply won’t concede the East without putting up a fight right down to the wire. Winners in 10 of their last 12, they remain four games back with six to play, still needing a miracle to overtake Washington but refusing to help their rivals finish the job.
“Take nothing for granted,” manager Davey Johnson said. “I know if we win three more, we’re in, we win the pennant. That’s all I want everybody in that room to figure on.”
NL EAST 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
- Harper, Scherzer power Nationals past Cubs
- One more category Bryce Harper leads the NL in
- Some good, some really ugly in Nats loss
- Cubs' farm team trolls Nats, Wizards after walk-off win
- Around the NL East: Another week of drama for the Marlins
- Nationals lose tough one on walk-off vs. Cubs
- Bryce Harper still doesn't think he's MLB's best
- Nats go for 2 in a row at Wrigley
- Marlins players fail to show up at charity event
- Cubs manager Joe Maddon doesn't get criticism of Bryce Harper