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Final two games determine home-field advantage
Nearly 36,000 National fans ignited their "natitude" last night after their team clinched the National League East Division crown. It's the first time a D.C. baseball team can claim that title since 1933.
The Nationals clinched despite a 2-0 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies, thanks to the Atlanta Braves' loss last night to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
After the game, Nats players and coaches drenched themselves in champagne. Second baseman Danny Espinosa said it was his first time popping a cork to celebrate a title.
"It took a little bit of learning. I had to watch the older guys to do it," Espinosa said. "It was a great time to be able to go out and celebrate with the guys and see all of our fans, they're so happy. They’ve got a winning team now and I'm happy. They deserve it."
Home-field still in the air
The last two contests against arch-rival Philadelphia still have some meaning, as the Nats are currently tied with the Cincinnati Reds for the best record in the National League. Should the Nats come out on top, they will have home-field advantage for the entire playoffs, including the World Series, and will draw the winner of Friday's one-game Wild Card playoff in the first round.
If not, the Nats will face the San Francisco Giants.
Don't forget the O's
Meanwhile, the situation for the Orioles is far more complex. The O's are just a game behind the New York Yankees for the AL East division title with two games left. Depending on how the last two days of the regular season go, the Orioles could face any of the other four American League teams that have clinched playoff spots, and a division title would allow the O's to skip the one-game Wild Card playoff.
But if they fall short of the division title, the Orioles could end up hosting that one-game playoff Friday. Right now, they're tied with the Oakland Athletics for that right, but the A's are also just a game behind in their division, meaning they could upgrade their postseason seed.
The Orioles close out the season with two game against Tampa.
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