Nationals, not Dodgers, first team to clinch playoff spot
For the fourth time in six years, the Washington Nationals are National League (NL) East champions in MLB.
Washington became the first team in MLB to clinch a spot in the postseason with a 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies, paired with a 10-8 Miami Marlins loss to the Atlanta Braves on Sunday.
With Washington's magic number down to one after the red-hot Stephen Strasburg hurled eight shutout innings and 10 strikeouts, fans stuck around Nationals Park to cheer on the Braves, who clinched the Nationals' division title with a Lane Adams walk-off two-run home run in the 11th to beat the Marlins.
While the slumping Los Angeles Dodgers have the best record in baseball, the Nationals have closed the gap to just four-and-a-half games pending Sunday's result.
Los Angeles - losers of 14 of their last 15 as they faced the Colorado Rockies - are in danger of handing the top seed and home field advantage in the postseason over to the Nationals.
A three-game series between the Dodgers (92-50) and Nationals (88-55) in Washington next weekend could determine the top seed for the playoffs.