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Nationals Magic Number will provide daily updates as the Washington Nationals try to win their division. Today’s magic number for the Nats to clinch the N.L. East: 17

What else is 17: Last year, first baseman Adam LaRoche‘s attention deficit disorder medication hurt his appetite and caused him to drop 15 to 20 pounds. Just to be safe, let’s call that 17 and a half pounds. The weight loss was a factor in LaRoche having one of the worst seasons of his career. Toward the end of last season, LaRoche changed his medication and has recovered to play well this year. Still, it’s strange to think of LaRoche, a grizzled hunting enthusiast, being foiled by a disorder that’s typically associated with children eating too much sugar.

What happened yesterday: The Nats had the day off, as did the second-place Braves. Let’s hope they enjoyed it: The Nats only have one day off in the next 24 days to close out the season.

What’s happening today: The Nats kick off a three-game series at home against the Phillies. I’ll be in section 238, row C, if you want to say hi. The Braves are playing the Marlins in Miami.