The Nationals are baseball's first team this season to enjoy customary champagne and free t-shirts.
The Nationals accomplished the inevitable Sunday afternoon, clinching the NL East with 19 games still to play.
Entering the day with a magic number of two, Washington not only had to beat the Phillies Sunday, but also needed the second-place Marlins to lose in order to break out the champagne and free t-shirts. The Nationals did their part and defeated the Phillies, 3-2, then watched the Braves hit a walk-off home run against the Marlins to secure the Nationals' division title.
The Nats have won four of the last six NL East crowns but never advanced past the NLDS. They lost to the Cardinals in 2012, Giants in 2014, and Dodgers last season. With the Dodgers floundering, Washington has a real chance to snatch home-field advantage throughout the NL postseason. Pending LA's result against the Rockies, the Nationals are 4 1/2 games behind the Dodgers for the National League's best record.
That's plenty of reason to watch 19 more regular season Nationals games.