Things got a little out of hand in the nightcap of yesterday's doubleheader with the Miami Marlins, but even as they did the Washington Nationals kept fighting until the Fish really put things out of reach late. In the afternoon half of the twin bill, the Nats were all business, shutting Miami down on the way to clinching the best record in the National League and home field advantage throughout the NLCS if they can take another step and get through the division series this time around.
As Matt Williams explained it, no one should be surprised by the way the Nationals are playing even after assuring that they will return to the postseason a while back.
"It's their DNA," Williams said. "It's the way they established it. If it is, in fact, your DNA, you just don't flip that on and off, it's the way you go, it's what you do. So, in that regard, it's an obligation because that's the way they established it and I'm proud of them for keeping that going and having determination every day regardless of situation to go out there and do what we can to win, and play the game the way they've established playing it. It's important to us, I'm proud of that fact and they should be proud too."
The one thing he might do differently, Williams said, is take it a little easier on the starters, though he did let Doug Fister go back out for the ninth yesterday and finish off a 104-pitch complete game shutout.
With just two games left, however, he might ease off a little bit.
"We're not going to push them too hard," the first-year skipper explained, "but again, we want them to stay in a flow, stay in their routine, stay in the game, make their pitches, certainly get deep in the game, but we're not going to push them too far for sure."
Stephen Strasburg's final 2014 regular season start is schedule for 4:05 PM EDT this afternoon.
Williams is sending the everyday lineup he's fielded for the last few months out there in support of the 26-year-old right-hander, who has a streak of 14 scoreless innings going as he takes the mound in Nats Park.
Here's the Nationals' Saturday afternoon lineup: