For the first time since before most people were born, Washington DC will host playoff baseball
Last year, they moved up to third, possibly a foreshadowing of what was to come in 2012.
This year, they've just clinched the NL East, and are competing with the Reds for the best record in baseball. There hasn't been playoff baseball in Washington DC since the Washington Senators in 1933, but now they're back.
It has been largely due to their incredible pitching rotation. Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmermann head into the playoffs as a potent 1-2 punch, and Ross Detwiler has been a pleasant surprise. Stephen Strasburg was also phenomenal, but he's out for the season thanks to some abysmal planning that resulted in him being shut down for the season on September 7.
Their lineup has been solid as well, with Ryan Zimmerman turning it on in the 2nd half, along with Bryce Harper, Ian Desmond, Adam LaRoche, and Mike Morse having solid years.
With the return of Drew Storen in the bullpen after the All Star break to go along with newly established closer Tyler Clippard, they have a formidable set of relievers.
Manager Davey Johnson has done a great job guiding this young team to success. They lead all of baseball in run differential, they have the best team ERA in the National League, and the Cardinals are the only potential NL playoff team that outscored them.
Right now, they have as good a chance as anyone in the National League, and it should be interesting to see how they compete against teams that have far more playoff experience.
Do you think this is the Nationals' year? Will the loss of Strasburg be their undoing? Can they overcome their nerves and inexperience to make some noise in the playoffs? No matter what, it should be fun to watch.