Congratulations to the Washington Nationals and Cincinnati Reds

Washington is returning to the postseason for the first time since 1933. By defeating the Dodgers last night, 4-1, the Nats clinched at least a Wild Card slot. Washington’s magic number to win the NL East was reduced to eight as Washington’s lead over idle Atlanta grew to 5.5 games. Washington was last in the postseason 79 years ago, when player-manager Joe Cronin and the Senators lost to the New York Giants in five games in the World Series.

The Cincinnati Reds cut its magic number to two for winning the NL Central leaders but by defeating the Cubs, 5-3, they ensured themselves of at least a wild-card spot.

The Mets were mathematically eliminated from the postseason.

The Brewers were mathematically eliminated from winning the division title.

The Giants will clinch a tie for the division title if they win and the Dodgers lose.

Look at the progression of the Nationals:

Rk Year W L W-L% Finish R RA Managers
1 2012 91 58 .611 1st of 5 666 534 Davey Johnson (91-58)
2 2011 80 81 .497 3rd of 5 624 643 Jim Riggleman (38-37), John McLaren (2-1) and Davey Johnson (40-43)
3 2010 69 93 .426 5th of 5 655 742 Jim Riggleman (69-93)
4 2009 59 103 .364 5th of 5 710 874 Manny Acta (26-61) and Jim Riggleman (33-42)
5 2008 59 102 .366 5th of 5 641 825 Manny Acta (59-102)
6 2007 73 89 .451 4th of 5 673 783 Manny Acta (73-89)
7 2006 71 91 .438 5th of 5 746 872 Frank Robinson (71-91)
8 2005 81 81 .500 5th of 5 639 673 Frank Robinson (81-81)
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/21/2012.

The Reds progression:

Rk Year W L Ties W-L% Finish Playoffs R RA Managers
1 2012 91 59 0 .607 1st of 6 641 558 Dusty Baker (91-59)
2 2011 79 83 0 .488 3rd of 6 735 720 Dusty Baker (79-83)
3 2010 91 71 0 .562 1st of 6 Lost LDS (3-0) 790 685 Dusty Baker (91-71)
4 2009 78 84 0 .481 4th of 6 673 723 Dusty Baker (78-84)
5 2008 74 88 0 .457 5th of 6 704 800 Dusty Baker (74-88)
6 2007 72 90 0 .444 5th of 6 783 853 Jerry Narron (31-51) and Pete Mackanin (41-39)
7 2006 80 82 0 .494 3rd of 6 749 801 Jerry Narron (80-82)
8 2005 73 89 1 .451 5th of 6 820 889 Dave Miley (27-43) and Jerry Narron (46-46)
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/21/2012.