Saturday, October 1, 2016

Nationals Win, Clinch Home Field Advantage

Thanks to the team that eliminated them from the playoffs in their previous appearance, the Washington Nationals clinched home field advantage against the Los Angeles Dodges in the NLDS this coming week.

Winning 3-0, the San Francisco Giants handed the Nationals home games in three games of the five game set that will begin this coming Friday, October 7. Last time the Nationals had home field advantage in the NLDS, it was the Giants that eliminated Washington on their way to winning the World Series.

And while the Giants held up their end of the bargain, the young talent of the Nationals handed Dusty Baker the club's 94th win of the season. Michael A. Taylor and Trea Turner accounted for four of the team's seven hits, and Turner plated both of Washington's runs.

In the bottom of the first inning, Bryce Harper singled with a liner up the middle. Turner, standing on second, hesitated to ensure the ball got through the infield before darting to third and flying to home as third base coach Bob Henley gave him the go-ahead. In the fifth inning, Turner hit is 13th home run of the year.
On the mound, Tanner Roark picked up his 16th win of the season behind 5.2 strong innings. The third-year pitcher gave up one earned run on three hits with four strikeouts. He's now second on the team in wins and ERA (2.83) among the Nationals' starting pitchers.

With the win and the Dodgers' loss, Washington will once again have home field advantage to start the playoffs. Game 1 of the NLDS will be Friday, October 7th and Game 2 will be Saturday the 8th. Games 3 and 4 will be out in Los Angeles before the teams return to Washington for Game 5 should the series go that far.

Before the postseason, however, the Nationals have one more game to play in the regular season. On Sunday, they'll send Max Scherzer to the mound. The ace will vying for his 20th win of the season and the Nationals' 50th home win of the season.