Stranger things have happened, but at this point the Nationals have pretty much a 99.9999999 percent chance of making the playoffs. It could all easily unravel beginning tonight, but for the most part it is safe to start preparing as if they will be in the postseason. The team has prepared by making tickets available and accommodations all around are being made, apparently even for a potential championship parade.
D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier appeared on WTOP radio on Thursday and addressed safety issues regarding a playoff run, keeping the metro running later, and the logistics of having a parade.
"We'll ask for reimbursable details, and that will be paid for by the Nationals," she says. "We're still working on the finalized plans and what it's going to cost. Once that's done, we're going to work with the Lerner family to get that finalized."
She sounds pretty confident they will get to the playoffs and that there will be reason to celebrate.
"It's going to be a big celebration for us here in Washington," she said.
"We already have (the playoffs) sealed up," Lanier added. "We know we're going."
Whether it happens or not, we'll see, but at least we know the city will be prepared. It may sound presumptuous to some, but if a city as sensitive about security as D.C. anticipates something this big, they need to take precaution.
Nats (74-53) vs. Rockies (60-67) at Nationals Park
The Nationals will look to make it back-to-back wins Friday night as they host the Colorado Rockies for the first of a three-game weekend set. Washington will send Gio Gonzalez (8-9, 4.30 ERA) to the mound to oppose rookie right hander Jeff Hoffman (0-1, 13.50 ERA).
The last time these two clubs met, the Nats dropped two of three in Colorado, as they were overwhelmed by the Rockies' power-laden lineup. Dusty Baker and company will hope to fare better this time around in the friendly confines of Nats Park.
Speaking of Baker, his lineup will be without Wilson Ramos for the second straight day. The Nats' skipper explained before Friday's game that his catcher is fine, and that the move is to simply give him an additional day of rest. Jose Lobaton, who called Thursday night's shutout against the Orioles, will be back in there and batting eighth. Other than that, it's the typical lineup.
First pitch: 7:05 p.m.
TV: MASN 2
Radio: 106.7 The Fan
Starting pitchers: Nats - Gio Gonzalez vs. Rockies - Jeff Hoffman
CF Trea Turner
LF Jayson Werth
2B Daniel Murphy
RF Bryce Harper
3B Anthony Rendon
1B Ryan Zimmerman
SS Danny Espinosa
C Jose Lobaton
LHP Gio Gonzalez
CF Charlie Blackmon
1B Stephen Cardullo
3B Nolan Arenado
RF Carlos Gonzalez
LF Ryan Raburn
C Nick Hundley
2B Daniel Descalso
SS Cristhian Adames
RHP Jeff Hoffman
Just when everyone was writing the 2016 Kansas City Royals' obituary, they win 9 in a row and plant themselves in the thick of the playoff race. It's possibly the most Royals thing in the world to do. How did the other teams fare? To the rankings!
30. Atlanta Braves (LW: 30)
Adios, Jeff Francoeur.
29. Minnesota Twins (LW: 29)
It's still weird to think that before this season, people thought they'd be a playoff team.
28. Arizona Diamondbacks (LW: 28)
Matt Wisler looked dominant in his almost-no-hitter of the Diamondbacks.
27. Cincinnati Reds (LW: 25)
The Joey Votto offseason trade rumors are starting to heat up!
26. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (LW: 26)
Are there really rumors that the Angels are the team seriously looking into Tim Tebow?
SEE THE REST OF THE RANKINGS HERE
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On this week's episode of 'Baseball in the District,' Tim Murray and I began by breaking down the Nats' recent trade for lefty reliever Marc Rzepczynski, how he will fit in their bullpen and how much they potentially miss Max Schrock, the prospect that they gave up.
We then discussed Katie Ledecky's appearance at Nationals Park and her interview with the media. That got us talking about the most awkward experiences we've ever had with famous people.
Also in this week's episode was talk about Trea Turner's impact this season and whether he is currently the Nats' most complete player. Mixed in is our thoughts about the Beltway Series and why the O's have had the Nats' number.
Feel free to share your opinions with us on Twitter @ChaseHughesCSN and @1TimMurray.
You can listen to the show on ESPN 980's website or download the show on iTunes.