A Look Back: The Washington Nationals’ 2012 Season

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Sep 8, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson during the seventh inning of a game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. The Nationals won 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

The date is October 1, 2012. The 96-63 Washington Nationals are losing to the 80-79 Philadelphia Phillies 2-0 in the bottom of the 9th inning in Game 160. The Nationals are in first place in the NL East and lead the division by three games over the Atlanta Braves. A positive outcome in this game is looking slim, as left fielder Michael Morse steps up to the plate to face Jeremy Horst, who is coming in for the save.

Then the PA announcer stops the game to make an announcement. The Atlanta Braves have lost 2-1 to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Nationals have clinched the NL East. Suddenly, the outcome of this game does not matter. The Nats go down 1-2-3 in the 9th. The crowd doesn’t care. Players are popping champagne, high fiving fans, celebrating like they’ve never celebrated before. All is well in Nats Town.

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Looking back on the 2012 season, fans and analysts alike tend to focus on the things that went wrong over the course of that breakout season for the DC franchise. The Strasburg shutdown. Drew Storen‘s blown save. Cardinals go on to the World Series. But is that all there was to the 2012 season? What about that 19-year old kid who bursted onto the scene to win Rookie of the Year honors? Wasn’t there a guy who won 20 games? How many players made the All-Star team? Silver Sluggers, Gold Gloves anyone?

From the good to the bad, here’s a look back at the 2012 season for the Washington Nationals.

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