The Washington Nationals split a doubleheader with the Los Angeles Dodgers, moving one win from giving the nation’s capital a postseason baseball team for the first time in 79 years.
The Nationals (90-58), who have the best record in Major League Baseball, need one win in their 14 remaining games this season to reach the playoffs as the National League East division champion or as one of the league’s two wild cards.
The Nationals lead the NL East by five games over the Atlanta Braves. The top two non-division winners in each league earn wild-card spots in the postseason.
Washington defeated the Dodgers 3-1 in the first game yesterday at Nationals Park before losing the second game 7-6. The teams play again tonight in Washington.
The last time a team in Washington made the postseason was in 1933, when the Senators won the American League pennant and then lost the World Series in five games to the New York Giants.
The Senators failed to make the postseason for the following 27 years and moved to Minnesota after the 1960 season to become the Twins.
An expansion team, also called the Senators, never advanced beyond the regular season while playing 1961-71 in Washington. That club moved to Texas and became the Rangers.
There was no major league franchise in Washington from 1971 until 2005, when the Montreal Expos moved to the U.S. capital and became the Nationals.
The doubleheader split left the Dodgers (77-72) two games behind the St. Louis Cardinals (79-70) for the second NL wild-card spot. The Cardinals won 5-0 at home last night against the Houston Astros.
Atlanta (86-64) holds the first wild-card spot after a 3-0 win last night at the Miami Marlins.