Tha Sports Junkies 101

Nationals Clinch N.L. East Title

Nationals Robert Trio/ via Flickr


Washington Nationals Clinch N.L. East Title

On Saturday the Washington Nationals closed out a 6-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.  The win would guarantee them at least a tie for the N.L. East Title, but now the Nat’s and their fans turned to the scoreboard to watch the Mets score and see if they could secure a Division title of their own.  At 10:58 on Saturday night the Nationals got their answer when the New York Mets fell to the Philadelphia Phillies (10-8) and sealed the Division title for the Washington Nationals for the third time in franchise history.

So how did the Nationals get here?  Last November the Nationals added one missing piece to their already powerful line-up.  Dusty Baker who had managed in the Majors for 20 seasons and had won a Division title with every team he has managed.  On Saturday he added to the list of teams that the veteran skipper has helped claim a Division title.  However, Baker was not hired to win a Division; he was hired to win a World Series.  In November owner Ted Lerner spoke and said what the signing of Baker meant for his team.


“We were looking for a manager to help us achieve our ultimate goal of competing for a World Series championship,” owner Ted Lerner said in a statement. “During our broad search process we met with many qualified candidates, and ultimately it was clear that Dusty’s deep experience was the best fit for our ballclub.”


This was a clear statement to the Nationals fan-base that this team wanted more.  They would not stop with the addition of a new manager.  The Nationals also added postseason super-hero Daniel Murphy as they signed him to a 3 year contract and this move has proven to be as good of a move as any.  Murphy currently leads the Nat’s in several offensive categories.

Batting Avg.- .347

Home runs 25

RBI- 104

OBP- .391

Hits- 184

Add these numbers to the numbers of players like Wilson Ramos, Jayson Werth, and 2015 NL MVP Bryce Harper and you have an offensive recipe for success.

On the other side of the game for the Nationals is one of baseballs scariest pitching staffs.  Max Scherzer who leads the team with 18 wins and 267 strikeouts has been a solid Ace for the Nat’s.  Tanner Roark leads the team with a 2.70 ERA and has 15 wins of his own.  Stephen Strasburg, who is currently out with a strained flexor mass, is hoping to return to the team for their postseason run.  Strasburg is a big reason for the Nationals success in 2016.  Prior to the All-Star break he put up unbelievable numbers.  He would go 12-0 with a 2.62 ERA and an opponent avg. of .201, but since the break he has struggled to stay healthy and has only claimed 3 wins.

Regardless of the return of Strasburg the Nationals are not a team that anyone wants to face in the playoffs.  With the powerful offense and a solid pitching staff, Washington could be on their way to the one goal they set last November; A World Series title.