Rant and Rise: Washington Nationals in Playoffs, Philadelphia Phillies Win Big, New York Giants Improve to 2-1

Here’s the latest edition of Rant and Rise for September 21, 2012:

Washington Nationals Clinch Playoff Berth

After Thursday’s 4-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Nationals clinched a playoff berth–guaranteeing them at least a Wild Card spot for the 2012 postseason. Washington currently has a 5 1/2 game over the Atlanta Braves in the NL East–so it seems like only a matter of time before they lock up the division title as well.

The Nationals certainly have enough talent to make a strong run at the World Series–especially with one of the strongest pitching rotations in baseball.

Philadelphia Phillies Crush New York Mets

The Phillies are one of the hottest teams in baseball after winning 11 of their last 14 games and are coming off one of their biggest wins of the season against the Mets on Thursday. After starting off the game with eight runs in the first inning, Philadelphia topped off their win by scoring seven runs in the ninth inning–including a grand slam by Ryan Howard.

They only trail the St. Louis Cardinals by four games for the final Wild Card spot in the National League–so it should be interesting to see how these next two weeks play out.

New York Giants Beat Carolina Panthers 

Even without Hakeem Nicks and Ahmad Bradshaw, the Giants had no trouble against the Panthers on Thursday night as they improved to 2-1 with an easy 36-7 win. Andre Brown (113 rushing yards and two touchdowns) and Ramses Barden (nine catches for 138 yards) stepped it up for New York in the win and this team will have plenty of rest before their big NFC East matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 4.

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