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.
Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area hints that the Giants may be done with outfielder Hunter Pence. It’s not clear just how seriously the club is contemplating such a decision, but there are six days remaining on Pence’s rehab assignment, at which point they’ll be able to recall him, reassign him to the minors or release him.
The 35-year-old outfielder has struggled to make a full recovery after spraining his right thumb during the first week of the season. Pence bounced back for a 17-game run with the Giants in April, during which he slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 with one double and one stolen base in 61 plate appearances, but was eventually placed on the disabled list with recurring soreness in his finger. He currently sports a promising .318/.359/.388 batting line with four extra-base hits (including a grand slam) over 92 PA in Triple-A Sacramento.
Despite his recent resurgence in Triple-A, the Giants may not need the additional outfield depth just yet. Mac Williamson, who was recalled in the wake of Pence’s DL assignment, has already cemented the starting role in left field and is off to a strong start at the plate as well. Of course, if the Giants decide to say a premature goodbye to their veteran outfielder (who, it should be said, helped them to two World Series championships over the last seven seasons), it’ll cost them the remaining balance on his $18.5 million salary for 2018.