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Nationals Clinch Playoff Spot, But Tickets Prove Elusive

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Washington Nationals third base coach Bo Porter (16) embraces third baseman Ryan Zimmerman (11) after their 4-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers, earning them a playoff spot, during their baseball game at Nationals Park, in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012.
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
Washington Nationals third base coach Bo Porter (16) embraces third baseman Ryan Zimmerman (11) after their 4-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers, earning them a playoff spot, during their baseball game at Nationals Park, in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012.

The Washington Nationals beat the Los Angeles Dodgers Thursday night 4-1 for their 91st victory — clinching a National League playoff spot for the first time in 79 years.

This is also the first time the Nationals reached the post-season since the team moved from Montreal after the 2004 season. The National's magic number for clinching the NL East is eight. They have a five-and-half lead over idle Atlanta, with just 13 games left.

Want to a playoff game, though? Take a number. The phone lines and sales website were jammed almost immediately after tickets went on sale at 10 a.m. Friday morning.

At the box office, excited fans who came down to get their tickets in person got this response from customer service agents. "We're only selling tickets online or through the call center at this time."

Some walked away with a frown, disappointed, but others, like Amy from Annandale, got to dialing right away, only to be greeted with a busy signal.

"I'm tryin' to call and I'm also online on my iPod," said Amy, but she didn't have much luck online either.

"I m just waiting and waiting and waiting and hopefully I'll get through and there will still be some tickets left," she said.

As of noon on Friday, the only tickets available for the National League Division Series are party suites at the price of $315 a pop. For the Nats fans who aren't comfortable with their division lead over the Braves, tickets for a hypothetical Wild Card game are still available. For everybody else, the box office plans to sell tickets to the playoffs on game days. Standing room only, though.

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