MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Finishing atop NL means Nats would draw Wild Card

Finishing atop NL means Nats would draw Wild Card

ATLANTA -- If the season were to have ended on Tuesday night, the Nationals would have the best record in the National League, which means they would have home-field advantage until the World Series.

That would also have meant they could face the winner of the NL Wild Card game between the Giants and Pirates, the two teams at the top of the Wild Card race.

The Nationals have had an easier time with the Giants in 2014, taking five out of seven games. Washington's best game against San Francisco happened on Aug. 24 at Nationals Park.

The Nationals showed they don't have that give-up mentality. They were down by five runs, but scored six in the sixth inning and downed the Giants, 14-6.

The character of the Nationals spoke volumes during the game, according to manager Matt Williams.

"They don't quit. They don't stop fighting. They feel it's important to apply pressure even if we are down," the skipper said. "Get some guys out there with opportunities. They did that again today. We did it by bunching base hits together. That will help you along the way. Homers happen, but the fact that they bunched base hits together says something about the approach and how they go about it."

The Nationals have taken four out of seven games from the Pirates. Three of those wins came during Washington's 10-game winning streak in August. However, that was when Andrew McCutchen was sidelined with a rib fracture.

McCutchen is considered a Nats killer, hitting .367 with 13 home runs and 28 RBIs in his career vs. Washington.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.