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Nats-Braves game thread - 4:05 p.m.

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Nats-Braves game thread - 4:05 p.m.

How big was last night's win for the Nationals? Well, they scored seven runs off Tim Hudson for the first time ever. And Ryan Zimmerman delivered his biggest hit of a the season (a three-run double after Hudson pitched around 19-year-old Bryce Harper). And Chien-Ming Wang earned the victory in his season debut (and perhaps pushed Ross Detwiler to the bullpen in the process).

More significant than all that, though, was the fact the Nationals extended their lead over the Braves to two games. Which means even in a worst-case scenario, they'll still be tied atop the NL East come Monday. Which would really represent a worst-case scenario, because they now get to send Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez to the mound the next two nights.

Can't ask for a situation much more advantageous than that. It begins at 4:05 p.m. today when Strasburg gets the nod against struggling left-hander Mike Minor (0-3, 10.46 ERA over his last five starts). As you know, I'm not in Atlanta this weekend, so please enjoy the conversation among yourself again...

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at ATLANTA BRAVES
Where: Turner Field
Gametime: 4:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 185
Weather: Partly cloudy, 91 degrees, Wind 8 mph in from LF

NATIONALS (27-18)
Lineup TBA
RHP Stephen Strasburg

BRAVES (26-21)
Lineup TBA
LHP Mike Minor

UMPIRES
HP Dana DeMuth (cc), 1B Kerwin Danley, 2B Manny Gonzalez, 3B Doug Eddings

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Washington Nationals celebrate NL East title

Washington Nationals celebrate NL East title

Two things had to happen for the Nationals to clinch the NL East title Saturday night. They had to beat the Pirates, and the Mets had to lose to the Phillies.

Both of those things happened, and the Nats wasted no time getting the celebration going. 

And they kept it going. 

Bryce Harper sported a Katie Ledecky swim cap to protect his flow from the flying liquid.

Then the team left the clubhouse, apparently to go roam Pittsburgh and find some Nats fans to celebrate with.

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Bryce Harper celebrates courtesy of Katie Ledecky in post-game celebration

Bryce Harper celebrates courtesy of Katie Ledecky in post-game celebration

Bryce Harper always talks about loving Washington, D.C. and after winning another NL East crown, he honored one of the local legends from the Rio games.

Katie Ledecky was one of the stars of the Olympics and the Bethesda resident appears to have given Harper a swimcap to celebrate clinching the NL East.

She reached out to Harper on twitter and appreciated the MVP sporting the swim cap.