AP Sports Writer
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."
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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