Posted September 21, 2012 on AP on Fox
The Washington Nationals are headed to the postseason. If the Milwaukee Brewers keep playing the way they have, they could be headed there as well. After securing the franchise's second playoff berth, the Nationals look to prevent the visiting Brewers from extending their season-high winning streak to six games Friday night. For the first time since 1933, postseason baseball will be played in the nation's capital after Washington (91-58) beat Los Angeles 4-1 on Thursday to clinch the franchise's first playoff berth since the Montreal Expos won the NL East in 1981. The Nationals' magic number to win the East is eight. "We've been through a lot and a lot of us in here have been through a lot of not-good times and these are the beginning of hope for a lot of good times,'' said third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, who is 5 for 14 (.357) in the last four games. "It's a first step, and it's a long ways to go." Milwaukee (77-72) has lost five of six at Washington, but won five straight overall and 23 of 29 to move within 2 1/2 games of St. Louis for the final NL wild-card spot. The Brewers rallied from three runs down to score five times in the last two innings Thursday to complete a three-game sweep at Pittsburgh with a 9-7 win. "We're doing everything right, right now,'' said third baseman Aramis Ramirez, who went 3 for 5 with a homer and three RBIs. "I played on a couple of really good teams in Chicago (with the Cubs) but we started off the season really well. We've kind of made a late push here. Hopefully, it's not too late.'' Ramirez has certainly helped the Brewers make their push, batting .351 with eight home runs and 23 RBIs in his last 24 games. He's 6 for 11 with three doubles and a homer against the Nationals this season. Teammate Rickie Weeks is batting .333 with seven homers and 16 RBIs in his last 20 games to raise his average from .213 to .232. The second baseman is 6 for 14 (.429) with three doubles and a home run against the Nationals. One of the few concerns facing the Brewers might be scheduled starter Shaun Marcum (5-4, 3.91 ERA), who is 0-1 with a 5.70 ERA in five starts since missing more than two months with tightness in his elbow. The right-hander has not earned a decision in four consecutive starts, most recently Saturday when he allowed four runs in four innings of a 9-6 win over New York. "He's just missing on his location,'' manager Ron Roenicke said. "I don't know if it's a rhythm thing with his delivery, or I don't know what it is.'' This will be Marcum's first appearance against the Nationals since he allowed two solo homers and one other hit while striking out 11 in seven innings of a 7-3 win for Toronto on June 16, 2007. Washington counters with Edwin Jackson (9-10, 3.89), who pitched seven scoreless innings in an 8-2 win at Milwaukee on July 26 to improve to 3-2 with a 3.46 ERA in six starts against the Brewers. Jackson, however, is 1-1 with a 7.47 ERA during his last three starts overall. The right-hander gave up four runs and two homers in 5 1-3 innings while not factoring in the decision of a 5-4 loss at Atlanta on Saturday. Washington shortstop Ian Desmond, who had two hits Thursday, has batted .380 with 12 RBIs in his last 20 games.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Pigs fly, snowball fights in hell, cats and dogs living in peace, and the Washington Nationals clinch a postseason berth

Nationals 4, Dodgers 1: Oh, that's weird. There's Ryan Zimmerman in a "Playoffs 2012" cap, and a postseason Natitude t-shirt. First postseason berth by a Washington baseball team since 1933? Weird. OK, go get the NL East pennant next. Now that'll really be weird. Uncharted waters...time to put the Natinals to rest. (Screencap of Zim via...

Stan Kasten is happy for the Nats

Hi, Stan. There's Stan Kasten, above, in a classic AP Photo from 2008 in a nearly finished Nationals Park. "We'll get the attendance we deserve. ... If we give the fans a reason to support us, they will be here in droves." (Stan Kasten, via Nationals.com, 4/13/2009) MLB.com's Bill Ladson caught up with the former President of the Nationals...

Nats 3B Zimmerman could need offseason surgery

Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman planned to get a cortisone shot for his right shoulder before Washington's doubleheader against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday. Manager Davey Johnson said offseason surgery to clean out Zimmerman's shoulder ''will definitely be seriously considered.'' General manager Mike Rizzo said that if Zimmerman does have...

Middle of order huge during Brewers' surge

MILWAUKEE Heading into the 2012 season, Brewers fans were overtly concerned about what would come from their cleanup spot. Soured by losing Prince Fielder, Milwaukee replaced him with Aramis Ramirez a third baseman who has always been solid but never quite delivered eye-popping numbers. It was a move that made some yearn for Fielder again. But Ramirez has proven time and time...

Can Drew Storen Save Your Season?

Poor Tyler Clippard. It seems everyone wants Drew Storen to be the closer in Washington, Clip is merely a place filler who’s done so well in Storen’s absence (3.22 ERA, 32 SVs) that they didn’t have the heart to take it from him. But it seems even Clippard is ready for Storen to be closer. Nationals Manager Davey Johnson announced yesterday that Clippard and Drew Storen would...

Nationals 4, Dodgers 1

The Washington Nationals brought postseason baseball back to the nation's capital for the first time since 1933, clinching a playoff spot Thursday night with a 4-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Nationals ensured at least an NL wild-card spot behind Ross Detwiler's six strong innings and Ryan Zimmerman's RBI double. Washington's magic number to win the NL...

Do you Brewlieve? Milwaukee Brewers are on a truly historic run

With a 4-2 come-from-behind win against the Washington Nationals, the Milwaukee Brewers are a mere 1.5 games out the second wild-card spot in the National League. Football may have kicked off in 2012, but this Brewers team isn’t done from capturing the excitement and joy which goes along with potential baseball in October. Here are some notes and nuggets on the Brewers truly historic...

Nationals 3, Dodgers 1

Nearing their first playoff berth since arriving in Washington, the Nationals scratched out a 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the opening game of a doubleheader Wednesday, supporting Jordan Zimmermann's six innings of one-run pitching with two RBI groundouts and a sac fly. The win was the Nationals' 90th, the most for a Major League Baseball club in the nation...

Clipped

"It's been really bad lately for me. Been trying to pinpoint what exactly it is as far as making as many mistakes as I've been making. I've been feeling good physically, which makes it more frustrating from my perspective. Because when I feel physically 100 percent I should be getting outs." (Tyler Clippard, via Washington Examiner, 9/22...

Young player-manager led DC to last pennant in '33

The Washington Nationals ended a long drought for the nation's capital Thursday night by clinching a playoff spot, returning the District of Columbia to baseball's postseason for the first time in nearly 80 years. But back then, the only postseason was the World Series. There were no wild card teams and no playoffs. The Washington Senators - also known as the Nationals -...

Brewers rally to beat Pirates

Rickie Weeks hit a tying two-run triple and scored the go-ahead run on Aramis Ramirez's single, helping the surging Milwaukee Brewers rally for a 9-7 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday. The Brewers have won five straight, eight of nine and 15 of 19 to climb into the playoff race. They remained 2 1/2 games back of St. Louis for the second NL wild-card slot. Milwaukee...

Who invited the Brewers to this party?

Very stealthily, the Milwaukee Brewers have thrust themselves into NL contention, and like some St. Louis Cardinals teams in years past, don’t seem to be stopping. Two key events happened today, first in afternoon action, the Cardinals gave up 2 runs in the 9th, curiously not using their usual closer Jason Motte (after 5 straight outings), then fell to the lowly Cubs in 11. Then...

Brewers 9, Pirates 7

Rickie Weeks hit a tying two-run triple and scored the go-ahead run on Aramis Ramirez's single, helping the surging Milwaukee Brewers rally for a 9-7 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday. The Brewers have won five straight, eight of nine and 15 of 19 to climb into the playoff race. They remained 2 1/2 games back of St. Louis for the second NL wild-card slot. Milwaukee...

Brewers 4, Nationals 2

Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez had consecutive RBI hits in the ninth inning off Nationals closer Tyler Clippard and the Milwaukee Brewers extended their season-high winning streak to six games with a 4-2 win over the Washington Nationals on Friday night. The victory combined with a St. Louis loss moved the Brewers within 1 1-2 games of the Cardinals for the final wild card berth...
MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.