Washington Nationals Need to Be Perfect to Win 100 Games

Paul Francis SullivanChief Writer ISeptember 29, 2012

DENVER, CO - JUNE 26:  Adam LaRoche #25 of the Washington Nationals is greeted at the dugout after hitting a solo home run during the second inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on June 26, 2012 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

There has never been a Washington baseball team that played in a major league that won 100 games.

The current Washington Nationals franchise never won more than 81 games before the current squad tallied 95 with five to play this year.

No other team reached that level, either. The two other 20th century franchises could not pass the century mark.

The original Senators won 99 games in 1933, the last pennant winner in DC. The franchise would pass 100 wins in 1965, but by then they had moved and become the Minnesota Twins.

The second Senators team won 86 games in 1969. Now the Texas Rangers, they won 96 games last year, the high-water mark for the franchise.

A few 19th century teams played in Washington. But neither the Washington Statesmen of the American Association, the Washington Senators or Washington Nationals of the National League nor the Washington Nationals of the Union Association ever cracked 100 wins in a season.

And when the current Nationals team existed as the Montreal Expos, they never won more than 95 games a year.

So this Nationals team stands with five to play with a shot to achieve what the franchise and city never saw: 100 games.

They need to go 5-0. Jordan Zimmermann has to defeat St. Louis pitcher Kyle Lohse today. Zimmermann has been outstanding, but as John Heyman of CBS Sports pointed out, Lohse has been a sleeper Cy Young contender in the National League.

The Nationals would have to see Ross Detwiler defeat Lance Lynn on Sunday.

Then the Nationals would have to sweep the Phillies at home to finish the season.

Granted, the need to win 100 games is not as pressing as winning the division and the World Series.

But even having the chance at 100 wins after losing 103 as recently as 2009 is quite a deal for a Washington franchise.

The 1884 Washington Statesmen would be proud.