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Win No. 59 breaks new ground for Nats

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Win No. 59 breaks new ground for Nats

With their win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday night, the Washington Nationals moved to 59-39 on the season. They have reached 20 games over .500 as a franchise for the first time since 1994 and became the first D.C. baseball team to hit the mark in 79 years.

The number 59 itself is significant. The Nats only amassed 59 wins total in each of the 2008 and 2009 regular seasons. Both years of course landed them number one picks the following drafts and in turn Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper.

Having played 98 games total so far this season, the Nationals are winning at a clip of .602. They have reached 59 wins faster than any team in franchise history, dating back to the Montreal Expos inaugural 1969 season.

The 1989 Expos hit 59 wins a day before the 2012 Nats, on July 25, but it was in their 100th game. The Expos, however, lost 40 of their last 62 games to finish 81-81 that season.

The five best regular season records in franchise history are as follows: 95 wins (1979), 94 wins (1993), 91 wins (1987), 90 wins (1980), and 88 wins (1996). The fastest to 59 among that bunch was the 79 club who did it in 102 games on Aug. 2. All five of the franchises best regular season teams by wins did not qualify for the playoffs in their respective years.

The one year the franchise did make the postseason was in 1981, when they won a total of 60 games in a strike-shortened year. That team won at a .556 winning percentage which is not quite the pace of this years club. This Nationals team is on pace to win 98 over the course of a full season.

59 doesnt say much in the context of 162 games, but being there this soon in the schedule is not something this franchise has experienced. Davey Johnson has been on championship teams and knows you dont win them in game 98. He told reporters after the game, We havent done nothin.

64 games remain, but the Nationals are tied for the best record in baseball and 2012 could be there for the taking.

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Nationals re-sign Howie Kendrick for two-years

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Nationals re-sign Howie Kendrick for two-years

WASHINGTON  -- The Nationals have agreed to a $7 million, two-year contract with outfielder Howie Kendrick, a deal subject to a successful physical.

Agent Pat Murphy confirmed the deal to The Associated Press on Monday. USA Today was first to report the deal.

Kendrick, 34, hit .293 with seven home runs and RBIs in 52 games with Washington after he was acquired from Philadelphia. The versatile right-handed hitter got just three plate appearances off the bench in the playoffs.

In 12 major league seasons with the Los Angeles Angels, Dodgers, Phillies and Nationals, Kendrick is a .291 hitter with a .755 OPS. He's now primarily an outfielder for Washington after playing left field, second base, first base and other positions throughout his career.

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See hilarious highlights from Nats' Racing Presidents tryouts

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USA Today Sports Images

See hilarious highlights from Nats' Racing Presidents tryouts

Ever wonder how you can become one of the Washington Nationals' Racing Presidents or what it takes to get the job?

The team recently detailed the requirements and held tryouts on Sunday for the next group of presidents to carry on the 12-season tradition.

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While the basic requirements are pretty standard — be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma, etc. — the specifics are quite unusual compared with a typical job. Among them, presidential candidates need to be at least 5-foot-7 but no taller than 6-foot-6 and able to run from centerfield to first base in a 50-pound costume. Needless to say, those who were invited to try out had to be in pretty good physical shape.

So in bitter cold temperatures, participants raced against each other in a 40-yard dash with the 50-pound costume on. They also danced.

Here are some of the highlights from Sunday’s Racing Presidents tryouts.

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