Nationals clinch D.C.’s first playoff berth since 1933

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There will be October baseball in our nation’s capital for the first time in 79 years.

The Nationals beat the Dodgers 4-1 on Thursday to clinch a postseason berth. Not only will this mark the team’s first playoff appearance since moving to Washington in 2005, but it’s the franchise’s first playoff berth since the Expos lost the NLCS to the Dodgers in 1981. It’s also the first time the franchise has won 90 games since 1993.

Tonight’s winner was left-hander Ross Detwiler, who is slated to replace Stephen Strasburg in the postseason rotation. He allowed one run and three hits in six innings to move to 10-6 on the season. His 3.10 ERA is actually a bit lower than Strasburg’s 3.16 mark.

While the Nats are now guaranteed a spot in the postseason, managed Davey Johnson said the team wouldn’t celebrate tonight. They intend to save the champagne for if they can lock up the NL East. They’re currently 5 1/2 games ahead of the Braves.

For more on tonight’s win, head on over to CSNWashington.com.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

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Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.

When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.

Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.