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The Washington Nationals try to clinch the NL East crown with a win today in the series finale against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Kurt Suzuki, who won the game in extra innings last night, is back behind the plate even in a day game after a long night game on Saturday. The Washington Nationals' starters are all in the lineup for the series finale with St. Louis. Nats' lefty Ross Detwiler, who'd won three-straight with the Nationals 4-1 in his starts before a less-than-stellar outing against Philadelphia last time out, faces his home state Cardinals for the first time in his career and pitches in the city he was born in for the first time as a professional. The pennant is one win (or one Braves' loss) away as play starts today, and the Washington Nationals are one win away from winning the first National League pennant in D.C. baseball history. The previous three teams to win a pennant in the nation's capital were American League teams in 1924, 1925 and 1933.
Since then, no team based in Washington, D.C. has been to the postseason. But you know that already, it's been hammered into your heads for weeks now as the 2012 Nats reached one milestone after another on their way to where they are today. The Nats don't have to win the division this afternoon. They can win it tomorrow in D.C... or Tuesday... or [wipes sweat from brow] or Wednesday... or a Braves' loss on any of those days can hand the NL East to the Nats. But Davey Johnson and the Nationals are just one win away. As a Montreal Expos fan growing up and a Nationals fan from before day one of the relocated franchise's existence, I've never once experienced this sort of season in 30+ years of following the game. No one in the nation's capital has seen a pennant-clinching win in 79 years. Will we have to wait another day? We're a patient bunch, loyal and dedicated to the cause. We'll wait, but we really don't want to...
• Here's the lineup that will try to clinch the NL East crown this afternoon in Busch Stadium:
Today's lineup: Werth, rf; Harper, cf; Zimmerman, 3b; LaRoche, 1b; Morse, lf; Desmond, ss; Espinosa, 2b; Suzuki, c; Detwiler, p.— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) September 30, 2012
Game time 2:15 pm EDT...