Bill Ladson

Nats note importance of home-field advantage

Nats note importance of home-field advantage

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals did more than even the series against the Marlins with a 2-1 win on Saturday.

It was the seventh inning when it flashed on the Nationals Park scoreboard that Washington would have home-field advantage for the National League Division Series against the Dodgers. It was clinched after Los Angeles' 3-0 loss to San Francisco.

"Any time you get home-field advantage, you get the first two games [to start] here. It could be very important," manager Dusty Baker said. "I would rather have it here than to travel [to Los Angeles]. You don't know how things will work out, but hopefully, we'll keep that home-field advantage."

Said closer Mark Melancon, "We are going to be ready wherever we are at. Having home-field advantage helps on the travel and stuff. And if we are in a Game 5, we definitely want our own fans [at the park]."

Baker on win over Marlins

You will not hear right-hander Tanner Roark complain if he is pitching Game 2 of the NLDS. Of the career-high 16 victories he collected this season, nine have come at Nationals Park.

"It's definitely huge. These guys fight day in and day out," Roark said. "We wanted to get the home-field advantage and we got it. We'll finish out the regular season strong tomorrow and get ready for the playoffs."

Center fielder Trea Turner will participate in his first postseason. He compares it to playing in the College World Series because of the intensity on the field.

"Every pitch of that game was intense. I would probably compare it to something like that," Turner said.

Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for since 2002 and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.