With the Mets’ loss to the Phillies this evening and a win of their own, the Washington Nationals have officially clinched the National League East title, their third in five years.
Capitalizing on mid-season struggles by the Mets, the division wasn’t much of a race. (In fact, none of the divisions — especially those in the NL — are close right now.)
How’d they do it? An effective combination of strong offense and outstanding pitching. The Nationals currently own a team ERA of 3.44, which is second in baseball only behind the Cubs. Their 718 runs scored were ninth in baseball.
Despite Bryce Harper‘s production dropping off a cliff this season, the Nats’ offense has received much greater contributions than expected from the likes of Daniel Murphy, Wilson Ramos, Trea Turner, and Stephen Drew.
If current standings hold, the Nationals will face off against the Dodgers in the NLDS while the Cubs will face off against the winner of the Wild Card game.