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April could be pivotal for 2021 Washington Nationals

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Fast starts have been a key in playoff seasons...

New York Mets v Washington Nationals Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

WASHINGTON – It may not seem like a big deal, but the Washington Nationals are on track to play baseball in the month of April this year.

Last year, of course, the pandemic wiped out the spring calendar for all Major League teams. This year, the Nationals will host the New York Mets on Opening Day on April 1.

Success in the month of April – and sometimes March – in regular-season play has led to appearances in the postseason for the Nationals. Consider:

*In 2012, the Nationals were 14-8 in April and eventually won the National League East title for the first time under manager Davey Johnson.

*In 2014, Washington was 16-12 in March/April and again won the East title, this time under manager Matt Williams.

*In 2016, the Nationals got off to a start of 16-7 and captured the National League crown under Dusty Baker.

*In 2017, Washington was 17-8 in the first month and repeated as the East champs under Baker.

And in 2019, while the Nationals didn’t win the division, they had a poor first month of the season at 12-16 and that led to the famous 19-31 start.

Washington, of course, turned things around in a big way and won the World Series later that year under manager Davey Martinez.

So in the years that the Nationals made the playoffs they were 75-51 in March/April.

In all other years, since 2005, they were 107-145 in March/April in regular-season play.