By Bill Ladson / MLB.com |
WASHINGTON -- The Nationals are in the playoffs and they were able advance to the postseason on a great effort from left-hander Ross Detwiler, who pitched six solid innings in a 4-1 victory over the Dodgers at Nationals Park on Thursday night.
The Nationals will become the first D.C.-based baseball team to play in the postseason since the Senators played in the World Series in 1933.
The Nationals were able to go the postseason because of their starting rotation, and Detwiler was an integral part of that group. Detwiler had a perfect game during the first three innings of the game. However, he gave up his first hit in the top of the fourth inning, when Mark Ellis hit a solo home run.
But the Nationals already had a 2-0 lead before Ellis hit his home run. They scored two runs in the top of the third inning off left-hander Chris Capuano. Bryce Harper scored all the way from first on a double by Ryan Zimmerman.
After the Ellis home run, it was all Nationals. They added two more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Ian Desmond scored all the way from first on a double by Danny Espinosa, who advanced to third on an error by shortstop Hanley Ramirez. Espinosa would later score on a sacrifice fly by Kurt Suzuki to make it a three-run game.
The Nationals improved their record to 91-58 and their magic number dropped to eight in order to win the National League East title. They are 5 1/2 games ahead of the Braves in the division standings.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.