There wasn’t a game played yesterday at Nationals Park, but the Nats still received some good news.
The Braves came back with three runs to tie the Marlins in the ninth inning and send the game to extras, but Miami ended up winning in the 10th, 4-3.
That cut the Nationals’ magic number to win the division to 10, after it had been stuck on 11 since last Wednesday.
The Nationals’ other magic number, the one to clinch a playoff spot, is currently at three. That means that if the Nats win both games of their doubleheader against the Dodgers today, they’ll have locked up a playoff spot for the first time since 1933.
When the postseason spot is eventually clinched, whether it ends up being today, tomorrow or next Tuesday, we keep hearing not to expect a big celebration.
The Nats don’t plan on going nuts with champagne or jumping on each other to create a giant dog pile on the field.
They won’t break out the goggles or light up cigars and stay up all night talking about how far they’ve come.
This might be the moment those in the nation’s capital have been waiting for, but that’s not the case with those in the clubhouse. They have their eyes set on something larger - the National League East title.
Once the Nats clinch the division, then we’ll see the giant celebration and bottles being popped. That’ll be the moment where they really enjoy all that they’ve accomplished over the course of the regular season.
Until then, any other magic numbers and celebrations will largely be for the fans.
And those in attendance tonight might get their chance to party, should the Nationals take care of business in both games of the doubleheader.