2012 Washington Nationals season

2012 Washington Nationals
National League East champions
Major League affiliations
Record 98–64 (.605)
Divisional place 1st
Other information
Owner(s) Lerner Enterprises
General manager(s) Mike Rizzo
Manager(s) Davey Johnson
Local television MASN
WDCW (CW 50)
(Bob Carpenter, FP Santangelo)
Local radio WJFK 106.7 FM
(Charlie Slowes, Dave Jageler)
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The Washington Nationals' 2012 season was the eighth season for the baseball franchise of Major League Baseball in the District of Columbia, the fifth season at Nationals Park, and the 44th since the original team was started in Montreal, Quebec. After finishing the previous season in third place with an 80–81 record, out of last place in the NL East for the second time since moving to Washington, the Nationals made several moves to pursue playoff contention in 2012 and beyond. Despite being plagued with injuries, the Nationals had an impressive start to the season, never dropping below the .500 mark and consistently holding first or second place in their division. On September 3, the Nationals won their 82nd game of the season, making this season their first winning season since moving to Washington, D.C. in 2005 and the first for the franchise since 2003. On September 20, the Nationals beat the Los Angeles Dodgers to clinch the franchise's first postseason berth since 1981, and the first for a Washington-based team since the Washington Senators won the American League pennant in 1933. On October 1, the Nationals clinched the National League East division.[1] On October 3, they went on to clinch the best record in Major League Baseball at 98-64.[2] They finished the season with a 98-64 record and played the St. Louis Cardinals in the Divisional Series. On October 12, in Game 5 of the NLDS, they lost to the Cardinals 9-7 and were eliminated.[3]



On October 30, 2011, following the World Series, the Nationals granted Todd Coffey, Alex Cora, Jonny Gomes, Liván Hernández, Laynce Nix, and Iván Rodríguez free agency. On November 2, they also granted Luis Atilano, J.D. Martin, Shairon Martis, Garrett Mock, Óliver Pérez, Miguel Perez, Michael Aubrey, Matt Antonelli, Gregor Blanco, Buck Coats, and Jeff Frazier free agency. On November 3, Brian Bixler was selected off waivers by the Houston Astros, and on December 8, Erik Komatsu was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the Rule 5 draft (he was returned, via the Minnesota Twins, on May 29). On December 9, the Nationals traded Collin Balester to the Detroit Tigers for Ryan Perry. On December 12, Doug Slaten was granted free agency.[4]

Additionally, on October 31, the Nationals moved interim bench coach Pat Corrales back into a position in player development for the team. Corrales had assumed that role in June after the resignations of manager Jim Riggleman and interim manager John McLaren — McLaren had held the bench coach position under Riggleman.[5]

On December 23, the Nationals traded Brad Peacock and Tommy Milone, along with minor-league prospects Derek Norris and A.J. Cole, to the Oakland Athletics for left-handed starting pitcher Gio González and Oakland minor-league prospect Robert Gilliam.[4]

On February 19, 2012, Mike Cameron (signed on December 19) retired after seventeen years in the major leagues, with one All-Star appearance and three Gold Glove awards.[4]

On March 30, the Nationals granted Andrés Blanco (signed on December 16) free agency, and on April 2, the Nationals granted Chad Durbin (signed on February 1) free agency.[4]


On December 5, 2011, the Nationals signed Brett Carroll as a free agent. On December 11, they signed Jason Michaels; they released him on March 29, 2012 and re-signed him to a new contract on April 2. On December 14 they signed Jarrett Hoffpauir and Waldis Joaquin, on December 15 they signed Jeff Fulchino, on December 20 they signed Xavier Paul and Chad Tracy, and on December 22 they signed Mark DeRosa.[4]

On December 16 they signed Andrés Blanco, who they later released on March 30. On December 19, they signed Mike Cameron, who retired on February 19. On February 1, they signed Chad Durbin, who they later released on April 2.[4]

On December 23, the Nationals traded Brad Peacock and Tommy Milone, along with minor-league prospects Derek Norris and A.J. Cole, to the Oakland Athletics for left-handed starting pitcher Gio González and Oakland minor-league prospect Robert Gilliam.[4]

On January 4, 2012, the Nationals signed Dan Cortes, on January 26 they signed Brad Lidge, on February 2 they signed Edwin Jackson, on February 3 they signed Mitch Atkins, on February 6 they signed Mark Teahen, on February 28 they signed Mike Schultz, on March 18 they signed Xavier Nady, and on March 29 they signed Zach Duke.[4]

Spring training

The Nationals held their 2012 spring training in Viera, Florida, with home games played at Space Coast Stadium.

Regular season

On April 3, 2012, the Nationals placed Drew Storen and Michael Morse on the disabled list to start the season, and John Lannan was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse. The Nationals also started a "Take Back Our Park" campaign vs. Philadelphia so Nationals fans in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. could receive tickets for the series on May 4–6 in an advanced pre-sale. On April 28, 2012, top prospect Bryce Harper made his Major League debut vs. Los Angeles in Los Angeles, finishing with a double and a go-ahead sacrifice fly. The Nationals, however, would lose the game on a Matt Kemp walk-off home run in the bottom of the 10th inning.

At the All-Star break, which began on July 9, 2012, the Nationals were in first place in the NL East with a 49–34 record, four games ahead of the second-place Atlanta Braves.[6]

On July 30, 2012, despite having an off day, the Nationals obtained the best record in baseball due to a loss by the Cincinnati Reds. This was the first time that a Washington baseball team held sole position of first place in MLB since 1933.[7]

On September 20, 2012, the Nats clinched their first Playoff berth since moving to Washington, with a 4-1 win over the L.A. Dodgers.

On October 1, 2012, the Nats clinched the NL East when the Braves lost 2-1 to the Pirates.

The Nats finished the season on October 3, 2012, defeating the Phillies 5-1. They finished with a 98-64 record, the best record in Major League baseball that year. The Nationals played 20 extra inning games during the season, the most of any MLB team in 2012.[8]

All-Star Game

Nationals starting pitchers Stephen Strasburg and Gio González, and shortstop Ian Desmond, were chosen to represent the Nationals in the 2012 All-Star Game. Desmond decided not to participate in order to rest a sore oblique muscle; Michael Bourn of the Atlanta Braves was chosen to go in his place. Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins declined to participate because of a serious knee injury which required surgery,[9] so the Nationals' Bryce Harper was chosen to play in his place. This made the 19-year-old Harper the youngest position player and the third youngest player to be named an All-Star.[10]

The Nationals therefore had four All-Stars, the most since they moved to Washington, D.C.[11]

The game was played on Tuesday, July 10, in Kansas City, and the National League won, 8-0. Gonzalez and Strasburg each pitched one scoreless inning; Gonzalez struck out one batter, and Strasburg allowed a hit and a walk. Harper entered the game in the fifth inning as a pinch hitter and played the remainder of the game in left field; at the plate, he went 0–1 with a walk.[12]

Season standings

National League East W L Pct. GB Home Road
Washington Nationals 9864 0.605 50–31 48–33
Atlanta Braves 9468 0.580 4 48–33 46–35
Philadelphia Phillies 8181 0.500 17 40–41 41–40
New York Mets 7488 0.457 24 36–45 38–43
Miami Marlins 6993 0.426 29 38–43 31–50
Division leaders W L Pct.
Washington Nationals 9864 0.605
Cincinnati Reds 9765 0.599
San Francisco Giants 9468 0.580
Wild Card teams
(Top 2 qualify for 1-game playoff)
W L Pct. GB
Atlanta Braves 9468 0.580 +6
St. Louis Cardinals 8874 0.543
Los Angeles Dodgers 8676 0.531 2
Milwaukee Brewers 8379 0.512 5
Arizona Diamondbacks 8181 0.500 7
Philadelphia Phillies 8181 0.500 7
Pittsburgh Pirates 7983 0.488 9
San Diego Padres 7686 0.469 12
New York Mets 7488 0.457 14
Miami Marlins 6993 0.426 19
Colorado Rockies 6498 0.395 24
Chicago Cubs 61101 0.377 27
Houston Astros 55107 0.340 33

Record vs. opponents

2012 National League Records

Source: MLB Standings Grid
Los Angeles6–123–34–24–210–84–24–21–64–35–26–111–78-106–54–26–9
New York4–36–122–42–62–52–43–412–42–310–85–24–34–44–34–148–7
San Diego11–73–43–32–610–85–37–111–54–33–43–45–16–123–32–38–7
San Francisco9–94–36–13–414–48–110–82–54–24–44–23–312–63–31–57–8
St. Louis5–11–510–77–65–211–45–65–29–63–43–47–83–33–33–48–7

Opening Day lineup

Opening Day Starters
Ian DesmondShortstop
Danny EspinosaSecond baseman
Ryan ZimmermanThird baseman
Adam LaRocheFirst baseman
Jayson WerthRight fielder
Mark DeRosaLeft fielder
Roger BernadinaCenter fielder
Wilson RamosCatcher
Stephen StrasburgStarting pitcher


2012 Washington Nationals
Pitchers Catchers






The Nationals drew 2,370,794 fans at Nationals Park during the regular season in 2012. It was the first time since 2006 that they had drawn more than 2,000,000 fans, and only the 2,731,993 they drew in their first season in Washington in 2005 exceeded it. It placed them ninth in attendance for the season among the 16 National League teams, also their best showing since 2005.[13][14][15] Their highest attendance at a home game was on May 19, when they drew 42,331 for a game against the Baltimore Orioles, while their lowest was 14,520 for a game against the Houston Astros on April 18. Their average home attendance was 30,010 per game, second-highest since their arrival in Washington and the first time they had averaged over 30,000 a game since their first season in Washington in 2005.[16]

Game log

 Nationals win
 Nationals loss
BoldNationals team member
2012 Game Log


Postseason game log

2012 Postseason Game Log (2-3)

Division Series

The Nationals played the St. Louis Cardinals in the Division Series. The Cardinals won the series, 3 games to 2.

Game 1, October 7

3:07 p.m. (EDT) at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis020000000231
WP: Ryan Mattheus (1–0)   LP: Mitchell Boggs (0–1)   Sv: Drew Storen (1)

Game 2, October 8

4:37 p.m. (EDT) at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis04120104X12130
WP: Lance Lynn (1–0)   LP: Jordan Zimmermann (0–1)
Home runs:
WSH: Ryan Zimmerman (1), Adam LaRoche (1)
STL: Allen Craig (1), Daniel Descalso (1), Carlos Beltrán 2 (2)

Game 3, October 10

1:07 p.m. (EDT) at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.

St. Louis1300011208141
WP: Chris Carpenter (1–0)   LP: Edwin Jackson (0–1)
Home runs:
STL: Pete Kozma (1)
WSH: None

Game 4, October 11

4:07 p.m. (EDT) at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.

St. Louis001000000130
WP: Drew Storen (1-0)   LP: Lance Lynn (1-1)
Home runs:
STL: None
WSH: Adam LaRoche (2), Jayson Werth (1)

Game 5, October 12

8:37 p.m. (EDT) at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.

St. Louis0001201149110
WP: Jason Motte (1–0)   LP: Drew Storen (1–1)
Home runs:
STL: Daniel Descalso (2)
WSH: Ryan Zimmerman (2), Bryce Harper (1), Michael Morse (1)

Player statistics

Regular Season

Both tables are sortable.


Note: POS = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; R = Runs scored; H = Hits; 2B = Doubles; 3B = Triples; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in; AVG = Batting average; SB = Stolen bases

Complete offensive statistics are available here.

CFRick Ankiel681581536102515.2281
OFRoger Bernadina1292272566110525.29115
OFCorey Brown1925452013.2000
PSean Burnett7000000000
CFBrett Carroll52200000.0000
PTyler Clippard7400000000
UTMark DeRosa488513165006.1881
SSIan Desmond130513721503322573.29221
PRoss Detwiler3345020001.0440
PZach Duke81000000.0000
2BDanny Espinosa160594821473721756.24720
CJesús Flores832772259121626.2131
PChristian Garcia1300000000
PGio Gonzalez3264261014.0940
PMike Gonzalez4700000000
PTom Gorzelanny456020001.3330
CFBryce Harper139533981442692259.27018
IFCésar Izturis54421000.5000
PEdwin Jackson34576130000.2280
PJohn Lannan69010000.1110
1BAdam LaRoche1545717615535133100.2711
CSandy Leon1230282002.2670
PBrad Lidge1100000000
UTSteve Lombardozzi12638440105163327.2735
CCarlos Maldonado49000001.0000
PRyan Mattheus661000000.0000
LFTyler Moore751562041901029.2633
LFMichael Morse102406531181711862.2910
OFXavier Nady401026163036.1571
PRyan Perry700000000
OFEury Pérez135310000.2003
CWilson Ramos25831122203102650
PHenry Rodriguez3500000000
CJhonatan Solano12356113026.3141
PCraig Stammen596000000.0000
PDrew Storen3700000000
PStephen Strasburg28474134017.2770
CKurt Suzuki43146173950525.2671
CIChad Tracy739372570314.2690
PChien-Ming Wang106111000.1670
RFJayson Werth813004290213531.3008
3BRyan Zimmerman145578931633612595.2825
PJordan Zimmermann32575112014.1930


Note: POS = Position; G = Games played; GS = Games Started IP = Innings Pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; HLD = Holds; ERA = Earned Run Average; SO= Strikeouts; WHIP = Walks and Hits Per Inning Pitched

Complete pitching statistics are available here.

RPSean Burnett70056.2122312.38571.24
CLTyler Clippard74072.22632133.72841.16
SPRoss Detwiler3327164.1108013.401051.22
Zach Duke8013.210001.32101.10
Christian Garcia13012.200042.13150.79
SPGio Gonzalez3232199.1218002.892071.13
RPMike Gonzalez47035.200073.03391.32
Tom Gorzelanny45172.042192.88621.32
SPEdwin Jackson3131189.21011004.031681.22
John Lannan6632.141004.13171.44
Brad Lidge1109.101209.64102.46
RPRyan Mattheus66066.1530182.85411.15
Ryan Perry708.0100010.1331.75
RPHenry Rodriguez35029.113925.83311.40
RPCraig Stammen59088.1611102.34871.20
RPDrew Storen37030.1314102.37240.99
SPStephen Strasburg2828159.1156003.161971.15
Chien-Ming Wang10532.123006.68152.01
SPJordan Zimmermann3232195.2128002.941531.17

Team leaders

Qualifying players only.

Stat Player Total
Avg.Ian Desmond.292
HRAdam LaRoche33
RBIAdam LaRoche100
RBryce Harper98
HRyan Zimmerman163
SBIan Desmond21
Stat Player Total
WGio González21
LEdwin Jackson11
ERAGio González2.89
SOGio González207
SVTyler Clippard32
IPGio González199.1


Both tables are sortable.


Note: POS = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; R = Runs scored; H = Hits; 2B = Doubles; 3B = Triples; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in; AVG = Batting average; SB = Stolen bases

Complete offensive statistics can be found here.

OFRoger Bernadina42000000.0000
PSean Burnett200000000
PTyler Clippard300000000
SSIan Desmond519271000.3680
PRoss Detwiler11000000.0000
2BDanny Espinosa515010000.0670
PChristian Garcia200000000
PGio Gonzalez23000000.0000
PMike Gonzalez100000000
PTom Gorzelanny100000000
CFBryce Harper523231112.1300
PEdwin Jackson21000000.0000
1BAdam LaRoche517430022.1760
UTSteve Lombardozzi33010000.3330
PRyan Mattheus300000000
LFTyler Moore110100021.0000
LFMichael Morse519250012.2630
PCraig Stammen400000000
PDrew Storen400000000
CKurt Suzuki517040002.2350
CIChad Tracy54000000.0000
RFJayson Werth521351011.2380
3BRyan Zimmerman521381024.3810
PJordan Zimmermann210100011.0000


Note: POS = Position; G = Games played; GS = Games Started IP = Innings Pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; HLD = Holds; ERA = Earned Run Average; SO= Strikeouts; WHIP = Walks and Hits Per Inning Pitched

Complete pitching statistics can be found here.

RPSean Burnett201.0000127.0014.00
CLTyler Clippard303.000023.0050.67
SPRoss Detwiler116.000000.0021.00
Christian Garcia202.200003.3842.25
SPGio Gonzalez2210.000004.50101.70
RPMike Gonzalez101.000009.0011.00
Tom Gorzelanny100.100000.0003.00
SPEdwin Jackson216.001017.5062.00
RPRyan Mattheus303.010006.0001.33
RPCraig Stammen403.000019.0032.33
RPDrew Storen404.011109.0061.50
SPJordan Zimmermann214.0010011.2551.75

Awards and honors


Ian Desmond did not participate in the 2012 Major League Baseball All-Star Game due to injury.

Annual awards

Farm system

Level Team League Manager
AAA Syracuse Chiefs International League Tony Beasley
AA Harrisburg Senators Eastern League Matthew LeCroy
A Potomac Nationals Carolina League Brian Rupp
A Hagerstown Suns South Atlantic League Brian Daubach
A-Short Season Auburn Doubledays New York–Penn League Gary Cathcart
Rookie GCL Nationals Gulf Coast League Tripp Keister


  1. "Philadelphia Phillies vs. Washington Nationals - Recap - October 01, 2012 - ESPN". ESPN.com. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
  2. "Philadelphia Phillies vs. Washington Nationals - Recap - October 03, 2012 - ESPN". ESPN.com. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
  3. "CARDS SCORE 4 IN 9TH, BEAT NATS 9-7, REACH NLCS". AP. Retrieved October 13, 2012.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "2012 Washington Nationals Trades and Transactions". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
  5. Kilgore, Adam (October 31, 2011). "Pat Corrales to be replaced as Nationals bench coach – Nationals Journal". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  6. "2012 Washington Nationals Schedule, Box Scores and Splits". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
  7. Kilgore, Adam (July 30, 2012). "The Nationals have the best record in baseball by themselves". Washington Post. Retrieved July 31, 2012.
  8. "Team Batting Game Finder: For 2012, Only extra-inning games, sorted by greatest number of games in a single season matching the selected criteria". Baseball Reference. Retrieved August 26, 2017.
  9. Corner, Jahmal (July 8, 2012). "Marlins' All Star Stanton has knee surgery". Chicago Tribune. Los Angeles. Retrieved July 9, 2012.
  10. Wagner, James (July 7, 2012). "Bryce Harper named to the all-star game – Nationals Journal". Washington Post. Retrieved July 9, 2012.
  11. "All-Stars". Washington Nationals. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
  12. "National League All-Stars vs. American League All-Stars – Recap". ESPN.com. Kansas City, Missouri. July 10, 2012. Retrieved July 11, 2012.
  13. baseball-reference.com 2012 Washington Nationals
  14. baseball-reference.com 2006 Washington Nationals
  15. baseball-reference.com 2005 Washington Nationals
  16. baseball-almanac.com Washington Nationals Attendance Data
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