“It has been a long three years, and everybody in here has had their ups and downs. We all pushed on and kept trying to get better and, you know what, now we are NL East champs,” right-hander Stephen Strasburg said, speaking on how this team was built and on what the Nationals went through to get to this point.
“I don’t think this is going to be our only time,” he added. “We are living in the now, and we got lot of work to do. But we are going to make the most of it, play in the moment, and really enjoy it this year.”
Strasburg said the only time he did this before is when Harrisburg clinched last year, while he was on a rehab assignment.
Lefty Ross Detwiler said he was enjoying winning the division because of all the hard work they put in from spring training on.
“We worked all year for this, and the day comes and it is kind of indescribable right now,” he said.
After winning the division, Detwiler said he hasn’t reflected on what he has personally gone through, from hip injuries to attempts to alter his delivery.
“I am not really looking back at any moment right now,” he said. “I am trying to take everything in that is happening. I want remember how this feels, and I can always come back to this moment.
“Everybody put their work in this year, and everybody got us here. For a moment like this to happen it is documented that we were the (NL East) champions this year.”
On the field after finding out the Nationals had clinched, general manager Mike Rizzo said he was proud of how they were able to assemble this team over the past few years.
“You always think about how this thing is created and how you built it,” Rizzo said. “I would be remiss to say without the scouts and player development, you are not here.
“Most of this ballclub has been constructed in the last four years. These are great guys with makeup and character to build around, and when you put talent with character and makeup, you got something.”
Rizzo said he was especially happy to see Ryan Zimmerman be able to enjoy this moment.
“It is the best,” Rizzo said. “I am probably as happy for him as anybody on the ballclub. He was the first guy I went up to and hugged because he has been through a lot and he has earned this.”