Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What's at stake today

US Presswire photo
Bryce Harper and the Nats have a chance to clinch a playoff berth tonight.
Last night's rainout created an old-fashioned, single-admission doubleheader for the Nationals and Dodgers later today. It also created a scenario in which the Nats could end the night having clinched the city's first playoff berth since 1933.

With a magic number of 3 to secure the final NL Wild Card berth, the Nationals would clinch with any combination of three victories and/or losses by the team currently in third place in the Wild Card race. That team happens to be the Dodgers.

Thus, a win in today's 4:05 p.m. opener would drop the magic number to 1 (and ensure at the very least the Nationals will get to play a 163rd game this season). A win in the nightcap (scheduled to start at 7:05 p.m. or 30 minutes after conclusion of the first game, whichever comes later) would then seal the deal and guarantee the Nats a spot in the postseason.

If you're planning to attend the doubleheader -- here's the ticket exchange policy in case you missed it -- don't expect a major celebration should the Nationals pull off the sweep. There won't be a dog pile at the center of the mound, nor champagne flowing in the clubhouse.

"That's not a big moment," manager Davey Johnson said over the weekend in Atlanta. "It's a nice moment, but it's not a big moment. The additional Wild Card, to me, just really put more of a burden on the manager, because nobody wants that one. A one-game playoff to get in? The other format, if you were the Wild Card, you're in the playoffs. So clinching a one-game playoff doesn't have any appeal at all to me."

The Nationals, as always, remain focused on the NL East title. And they drew a step closer to that last night, even though they never set foot on the field. By virtue of the Braves' wild, 10-inning loss in Miami, the Nats' magic number to clinch the division dropped to 10. Their lead over Atlanta is now 5 1/2 games.

Keep in mind the Nationals still have 16 games to play, but the Braves only have 13 games to play. That's fewer opportunities for Atlanta to make up ground, a real disadvantage considering they're now 7 games back in the loss column.

We'll have a much clearer idea of how things stand by the end of the night, with the Nationals playing two games and the Braves playing one. By 10 p.m. or so, the Nationals' lead in the division could be as big as 7 games. Or it could be as small as 4 games.

That all makes for one long -- and potentially dramatic -- day of baseball.

44 comments:

Will said...

The longest playoff drought in all professional American sports could end tonight! That's very exciting.

alm said...

Looking forward to a long night of baseball. Lets play 2!

Stayed up to see the Braves lose it in 10.

GO NATS!

MicheleS said...

Reposting for Nats Nut:

Nats Nut.. Woo Hoo all you want. The Magic Number dropped! (It had been stuck on 11 for far to long!)

Joe Seamhead said...

Decided to exchange last night's tickets for the final game against the Phillies, and bought two seats in 314 on Stubhub for today.We weren't thrilled with exchanging last night's for equal, or lesser, value for two games today. Looks to be a beautiful day for baseball!
Let's take two!
GYFNG!!!

Feel Wood said...

Davey has it right. Clinching either the second or even the first wild card spot is not "getting into the playoffs." You have to win that wild card game to really make the playoffs. The loser of that wild card game will quickly be forgotten, just like the teams that lost the tiebreaker games to the Rox and Twins in recent years. Who were those teams anyway? I forget.

Clinching a wild card berth is like opening your mailbox and finding a postcard saying "You may already be a winner." Who celebrates that?

NatsJack in Florida said...

Flying up for tomorrow and Friday nights games. Will be in section 235 either rows A or B those nights. Hope to hook up with some Nats Insiders.

I'll be watching the DH today and posting. Great day for "Let's Play Two!"

NCNatsie said...

You're probably right, Feel, but as a New England guy, I'll never forget the Red Sox losing the 1978 playoff on Bucky F. Dent's home run.

Rachel Gibson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SonnyG10 said...

Going into the last Barves series, we came out with the worst case senario. May today's outcome be much more to our liking.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

I am listening to Radio.com's 106.7 and they are saying the bandwagon is buying up the tickets for the NLDS.

Sounds like all games are sold-out except single tickets!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

I want to see a game where every ticket is sold including the President's seats behind homeplate. That will be a great sight!

natsfan1a said...

I'm not a bandwagon fan (having been on board since the team moved), but I was able to find two seats together for an NLDS game. Agreed that seeing sellout crowds would be awesome.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

natsfan1a said...
I'm not a bandwagon fan (having been on board since the team moved), but I was able to find two seats together for an NLDS game. Agreed that seeing sellout crowds would be awesome.


You definitely aren't a bandwagoneer. The bandwagon fans are the ones who start watching the games when the Nats were in 1st place in July. They know who they are and they only seem to buy tickets when the game is a "big event". This is why the stadium will be sold-out for all post-season games which is a good thing but also is a shame when you consider that many of the original fans will be priced out.

Demand could be 70,000 and the supply of tix is a number in the mid 40,000's. Prices will skyrocket-a ticket scalpers dream.



Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Big news on Metro for those with playoff tix and contemplating Metro:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dc-sports-bog/post/jack-evans-promises-extended-metro-service-for-nats-playoffs/2012/09/18/d38880e8-01af-11e2-b260-32f4a8db9b7e_blog.html

SonnyG10 said...

Tnx for info re Metro GOSM.

Tcostant said...

Game 1 NLDS is Sold Out

rogieshan said...

Champagne ain't popping until the division is won.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Tcostant, it sounds like when tickets are available to the public there won't be anything left until the Nats release the holdbacks, Suites, and standing tickets.

Exposremains said...

As much as I would like the Nats to finish with the best record in Baseball, I think that nlds series against the wild card will be much harder.(starting on the road and facing a team like the braves)Much rather have them play the Giants.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Exposremains, maybe I'm confused, I thought the Best Record and 2nd Best Record both go on the road.

Can someone confirm.

natsfan1a said...

I believe you're correct, Steve M. If you don't mind visiting the MASN site, there's a link to a postseason set-up primer on the left side of this page. :-)

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

natsfan1a, Thanks. I just found this:

Saturday, Oct. 6 - The National League Division Series start. The #2 seed against the #3 seed. The #3 seeded team hosts the first two games of the best-of-five series.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Since the Giants look like the lock for the #3 seed and its a long trip in what will be cold weather, all the more reason to get that #1 seed and hope St. Louis is the competition.

Exposremains said...

Ooops. I miss that part. Still would prefer to have them face the Braves in NLCS than NLDS. Wildcard team always seem to have that edge.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Exposremains, assume that Medlen pitches the Wild Card game and isn't available until Game #4 of the NLDS and isn't available if Nats sweep in 3.

Nats need to go for best record.

SCNatsFan said...

What will be sweet is the day the Braves sell tickets to the play in game

Exposremains said...

Maybe its years going back to Expos years of seeing the braves rise to the occasion at home, I dont want them to get the 2 1st games at home. Although, Im sure the Nats are trying for the best record.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

SCNatsFan said...
What will be sweet is the day the Braves sell tickets to the play in game


Definitely!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Rizzo is ragging on Danny Rouhier "best record in baseball and 7 game lead in the loss column isn't enough for you"?

natsfan1a said...

Go get 'em, Mikey. grrr! :-)

MicheleS said...

So.. For Once I am glad that I am a STH.. from what I saw on twitter the tickets are starting to move very fast. It looks like Game 1 here of NLDS is already sold out and that Tickets to Game 3 of NLDS are scarce or you get way upper nose bleed.

bowdenball said...

I don't think the NLDS games are sold out. They just sold out of the presale inventory. I'm sure they set aside some tickets for sale to the general public on Friday morning.

natsfan1a said...

Some of us actually like upper deck seats. :-)

It looks like Game 1 here of NLDS is already sold out and that Tickets to Game 3 of NLDS are scarce or you get way upper nose bleed.

MicheleS said...

1A.. I like the upper deck seats,too but I think these were the ones way out in RF area.

Rizzo is taking calls. Caller asked why they are sticking with Clipp when DRUUU is back. Rizzo every the PR guy .. we have 2 Closers.

natsfan1a said...

Ah, mine were on the LF side, my preferred region.

So, are any Natsinsiders calling in? Let us know how it goes, if so.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

MicheleS, darn, I missed the last 10 minutes of Rizzo's show. Anything else good on the call-ins?

NatsFirin'BBs said...

Glad I got four tix when they went on sale. Have to believe that a bunch of those President's Club seats will be filled with "dignitaries."

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Still wondering if Davey keeps John Lannan on schedule for next Monday which also keeps him not pitching against the Philthies.

Wednesd Sept 19 Dodgers JZim/John Lannan
Thursda Sept 20 Dodgers Edwin Jackson
Friday Sept 21 Brewers Ross Detwiler
Saturda Sept 22 Brewers Gio Gonzalez
Sunday Sept 23 Brewers -TBD-
Monday Sept 24 Brewers Jordan Z or John Lannan
Tuesda Sept 25@Phillie John Lannan or Jordan Z.
Wednesd Sept 26@Phillie Edwin Jackson
Thursda Sept 27@Phillie Ross Detwiler
Friday Sept 28@StLouis Gio Gonzalez
Saturda Sept 29@StLouis
Sunday Sept 30@StLouis
Monday Oct. 1 Phillie
Tuesda Oct. 2 Phillie
Wednesd Oct. 3 Phillie

Friday Oct. 5 WILD CARD TBD
Saturd Oct. 6 3rd Div winner play @ 2nd Div Winner
Sunday Oct. 7 Best record team plays @ Wild Card

Steady Eddie said...

Ghost, Good question re Lannan vs JZimm vs the Phils.

Davey has already said (re the choice of Sunday pitcher) that he wants to load up on righties vs the righty-heavy Brewers lineup. Now does he want to do that at the price of putting Lannan up against the Phils? Of course, Braun has been hitting everyone lately so it might not matter; and JZimm is going to need to keep his fastball down against everyone so he doesn't get shelled, R vs R matchups notwithstanding.

Given that Davey probably wouldn't want two lefties starting against the Brewers, if I had to guess it would be that he'd tell Lannan that now is as good a time as any to shed the rest of his Phillies thing (which he did start on with the 2-1 win on June 1 last year).

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Steady, that's when Lannan becomes LannEn. Just hard to believe Wang gets the spot start as I have Duke. I wouldn't put more innings on Stammen. I like Lannan better against the Brewers with that sinker.

Ron In Reston said...

Eddie, he already has two lefties starting against the Brewers in Detwiler and Gio....Lannan would make three. Unfortunately, that's what we have now, a lefty-heavy rotation with EJax and JZimm our only righties.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

A shame Davey didn't line up Lannan to pitch over the weekend against the Braves.

Have to wonder if Davey goes lefty happy if the Nats face the Barves in the playoffs.

Tcostant said...

All three NLDS game seats are gone (except those over $200) from the presale. I do echo the thoughts here, they are likely holding some cheaper seats back for general public sale on Friday. Still amazing...

Steve J, Alexandria said...

Am going to tomorrow night's game. I'm driving (instead of Metro) for the first time.

Anyone know how much the parking is and is there plentiful parking in the adjacent garage?

Post a Comment