First off, with the Nationals 5-1 win over the Philadelphia Phillies yesterday, they clinched the best record in the National League and will have home field advantage throughout the post-season. They were tied with the Reds for the best record in baseball, but with today's win they take that crown.
For the Nationals opening game of the 2012 National League Division Series, they will play the winner of the Wild Card Round between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Atlanta Braves. The outcome of the game, which will played Friday at 5 PM EST, will determine the final two pitching rotation spots. If the Braves win, expect to see John Lannan in the rotation.
No matter the outcome, the Nationals will play their first two games of the five game series on the road at their opponent. The last three games of the series will be played at Nats Park. The series begins this Sunday at 7 PM EST. The Nationals won't have their first home playoff game since the club came to D.C. in 2005 until next Wednesday.
Gio Gonzalez will open the series this Sunday and Jordan Zimmermann will follow after that. The rest of the rotation depends on whether the Nationals play the Cardinals or the Braves.
Keep in mind, this is a best-of-five series for the Nationals. If the arrive at Nats Park next Wednesday in a 2-0 game deficit, each game could be the final game of the season. Luckily, the Nationals are very successful at home and should be able to hold that home field advantage through the playoffs.
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