WASHINGTON (AP) - After leading the majors with a 98-64 record this season, the NL East champion Washington Nationals are heading into the playoffs with a young core of players new to this sort of thing.
When your franchise hasn't been this far in 31 years, and your city hasn't participated in Major League Baseball's postseason in 79, chances are there won't be a whole lot of guys with October experience.
Key players for the Nationals such as third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, 19-year-old center fielder Bryce Harper, starters Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann and Ross Detwiler, and relievers Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard are all playoff rookies.
Says Zimmerman, a member of 100-loss Nationals clubs in 2008 and 2009: ``Once we get into it, all of us will be fine.''

Top MLB Public Bets

MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail Jays, Bautista could be close to deal Could the Blue Jays be nearing a new deal with slugger Jose Bautista?
Thumbnail Red Sox favored to win AL Pennant The Boston Red Sox are favored to win the 2017 American League Pennant, while the defending champs have the next-best odds.
Thumbnail Updated 2017 NL Pennant Odds The Chicago Cubs remain favored to win the 2017 National League Pennant at 9/5, but which team is listed second?
Thumbnail Cubs remain World Series Favorites The Cubs remain favored to win the 2017 World Series while the Red Sox have the next-best odds according to oddsmakers.
Thumbnail Dodgers officially re-sign Jansen The Dodgers have officially re-signed Kenley Jansen to a five-year, $80 million contract.

MLB Team Pages