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Game 159: Nats at Cardinals

Sep 30, 2012, 5:00 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Will the Nationals celebrate this afternoon at Busch Stadium?

ST. LOUIS — It's been 10 days since the Nationals clinched a postseason berth. It feels like twice as long. They certainly expected to wrap up the NL East title by now, but the Braves have had other plans and have stretched this thing out nearly as long as possible.

Today, though, when the Nationals take the field at Busch Stadium, they won't need to look at the out-of-town scoreboard. Their task is simple: Win and they're NL East champs. Yes, they could also back their way in if the Braves lose to the Mets in a game that begins 40 minutes before this one. But the players in the visitors clubhouse prefer it not come to that. As one guy said this morning: "We want to dog-pile."

So it will be a motivated group this afternoon, led by St. Louis native Ross Detwiler and catcher Kurt Suzuki (starting his ninth consecutive game behind the plate). All the regulars are in the lineup, another sign Davey Johnson wants to end this thing right here and right now, then give everyone a rest during the final three games against the Phillies.

Enjoy this day, everyone. And, of course, be sure to check in here for live updates and analysis throughout…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
Where: Busch Stadium
Gametime: 2:15 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, Ch. 50, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 187
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 70 degrees, Wind 8 mph in from RF

NATIONALS (96-62)
RF Jayson Werth
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche

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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.
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SAT: 10:30 a.m.

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