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Nationals lose, so Braves clinch the NL East

Sep 22, 2013, 5:18 PM EDT

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Nationals starter Dan Haren surrendered eight hits and three earned runs over six innings in a 4-2 loss Sunday in Game 1 of a day-night doubleheader against the Marlins. Game 2 is scheduled to get underway at 7:05 p.m. ET, but it won’t matter much.

The Braves — by virtue of the Nats’ defeat — have clinched the National League East crown for the first time since 2005. MLB.com’s Mark Bowman was on the scene at Wrigley Field, where the Braves were finishing up a three-game series with the Cubs:

The Braves will host the Brewers for three games and the Phillies for four to finish out their regular-season schedule. They’ll be trying to retain home-field advantage (through the NLCS) from the Cardinals, who also clinched a playoff spot with the Nats’ loss.

Washington is all but mathematically eliminated from the National League Wild Card hunt, so it will likely be two National League Central teams duking it out in the NL Wild Card Game on October 3.

  1. 12strikes - Sep 22, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    Hey Nat’inal fans… Aren’t you glad Rizzo screwed your team during last years run by putting Strasburg
    on the shelf for this years run… BWHAAAA.

    Hey if you ever want to see a championship trophy… just come to Citizens Bank Park, they give tours, and you can see ours.

    • Old Gator - Sep 22, 2013 at 6:22 PM

      Do they pose classless idiots like you on pedestals with your heads up your asses and stop for a brief lecture to the tourists too?

      • 12strikes - Sep 22, 2013 at 7:40 PM

        No, our pedestals have World Series Trophies.

      • mckludge - Sep 22, 2013 at 7:52 PM

        There’s no point in putting people like 12strikes on a pedestal. Philly fans like that are so common you can’t throw a cheesesteak without hitting one, and getting grease on two more.

      • mckludge - Sep 22, 2013 at 7:56 PM

        Also, as bad as the Feesh are this year, they won 2 World Series in 20 years. It took the Fillies 105 years to win 2.

      • forsch31 - Sep 22, 2013 at 8:02 PM

        Yep…all two of ‘em. Just like the Marlins.

      • Old Gator - Sep 22, 2013 at 8:47 PM

        All they have on those pedestals not bearing classless assholes this year are stale, crusted over horrible horsemeat and Velveeta™ sandwiches. After the way your guys played this season, they needed to re-emphasize an iconography in the same spirit as the team’s collective effort. They put the trophies away in cold storage until the last of your holdover gimps and duffers die orf.

      • Old Gator - Sep 22, 2013 at 8:50 PM

        The Feesh haven’t just been that bad this year. They haven’t sniffed a postseason since Scrooge McLoria began meddling and skimping and salary-dumping and raping the Macondo community in the process of turning his fans against him and the team. That’s ten years. There are kids younger than that already posting on this blog – can you name any of them? – so invoking those two ancient championships is, once again, the sound of one hand clapping.

  2. misterj167 - Sep 22, 2013 at 8:21 PM

    I was at the game, which the Braves won, so it didn’t matter if the Gnats won or lost, not that it mattered, a magic number of 1 with 7 games left to play is pretty much a done deal, the baseball gods would have to be angry indeed at the Braves for them to have blown that.

    If I’m rude to Gnats fans, it’s only because they acted as if the division and the Series trophy were already handed to them, and baseball reality hit them like Bryce Harper’s forehead slamming into a wall. You could argue that if everyone had been healthy and playing to potential it would have been different but the Braves were killed by injuries and have more than a couple of people underperforming for long stretches. The difference, as I said earlier in the season, is depth. The Braves have it, the Nats don’t. Also, the Braves play better baseball fundamentally.

    And I’m also sick of people talking about how the Braves are gonna “choke” in the playoffs, because there’s no choking when all the teams involved are this close: if the Braves had won 120 games and clinched the division in August and got swept in the first round, that’s a choke. Not losing a series to a team that was within three games of you during the regular season. It’s a crapshoot, and all the current postseason teams have a chance to get to the Series. All this talk about choking is just sour grapes from fans of teams that were effectively eliminated in July or, like the Gnats, practically given the Series on a platter and, well, choked. I’ll give em credit for not quitting, but you gotta play well, and play well against your main division rivals, if you want to get to the postseason.

    If I can be brutally honest, if I were a betting man, I’d be putting it all on the Dodgers, with that pitching staff it’s going to be very hard for anyone to put runs on the board against them.

    So congratulations to the Braves for a well-deserved division title, and I hope they don’t take too long to fly out to Arizona and jump into the pool before heading back to Atlanta to finish the regular season.

  3. henrymolyneux - Sep 23, 2013 at 3:16 AM

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