Nats officially eliminated from NL East race

Josh Luckenbaugh
September 22, 2018 - 10:48 am
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Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

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The disappointing result many had accepted as a foregone conclusion for weeks was made official Friday night: the Nationals have been eliminated from the NL East race.

Washington fell to Cy Young favorite Jacob deGrom and the Mets 4-2, while the division-leading Braves rallied to beat the second-place Phillies 6-5. Now nine games back of Atlanta with eight to play, it is mathematically impossible for the Nats to catch the Braves in the standings. 

If you care to see, here's the pitch that sealed the Nats' divisional fate:

And thus ends the Nats' two-year reign over the NL East. The crown in all likelihood will be passed to the Braves, who now hold a 7.5-game lead over Philadelphia. 

Washington is still technically in the wild card race, but their elimination number is down to one, meaning the Nats must win out and the Brewers and Cardinals must lose out. In short, the odds are not in the Nats' favor. 

The consensus favorite to win the NL East when the season began, the 2018 Nats will, barring a miraculous wild card run, be viewed as a colossal failure. But some credit certainly has to be given to the Braves and the Phillies, who exceeded all expectations to become playoff contenders. 

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