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Game 158: Nats at Cardinals

Sep 29, 2012, 7:30 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nationals go for their first-ever NL East title tonight at Busch Stadium.

ST. LOUIS — On Sept. 29, 2004, then-mayor Anthony Williams stood before a crowd at City Museum and announced Major League Baseball was returning to Washington, D.C. Though they didn't know yet what the soon-to-be-relocated Montreal Expos would be named, Williams and other officials wore red caps with a curly W logo on the front, the old Senators cap.

Exactly eight years later, a group of Washington Nationals wearing the same logo on their caps could have the opportunity to dog-pile in the middle of the diamond at Busch Stadium, celebrating their first-ever NL East crown and the first title of any kind for a D.C. baseball team since the 1933 Senators clinched tRHPhe AL pennant.

Two things must happen for that scene to play out: 1) The Nationals must defeat a hot Cardinals team that could be within one day of clinching its own postseason berth, and 2) The Braves must lose for the second consecutive night to the Mets. Both games will be taking place simultaneously, so there will be plenty of scoreboard watching from the Nats dugout.

The man on the mound trying to win this potential milestone game will be Jordan Zimmermann, a major piece of the organization's long-term building plan and certainly an appropriate pitcher to take the ball tonight. His teammates face a stiff challenge in Kyle Lohse (16-3, 2.77 ERA), though the Nationals did rough up the right-hander for eight runs four weeks ago in D.C.

Buckle up, folks. This could be a night to remember. I'll have all the updates right here, so please check back…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
Where: Busch Stadium
Gametime: 7:15 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 89
Weather: Clear, 67 degrees, Wind 4 mph LF to RF

NATIONALS (95-62)
RF Jayson Werth
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche

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Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 90 64 --
ATLANTA 76 78 14.0
NEW YORK 75 80 15.5
MIAMI 74 80 16.0
PHILADELPHIA 71 84 19.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Saturday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON (5) 90 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 88 67 2.5
ST. LOUIS 87 68 3.5
-------------------------
SAN FRANCISCO 84 70 6.0 +1.0
PITTSBURGH 83 71 7.0 --
MILWAUKEE 80 75 10.5 3.5
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Saturday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Marlins at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 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.

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