For a team that has never had a winning record, the Nats playoff talk is escalating rather quickly.

“We want to make the playoffs,” Mike Rizzo said last week, when asked if the team needs a postseason berth for 2012 to be a success, via Federal Baseball. “We’re not afraid to say the word this year. The onus of this is on the payers, and they have to perform and we’re going to let them know that. And that’s kind of the way I feel. But to answer the question, I think you can have a good meaningful season without making the playoffs this year, but I would probably be a little disappointed that we didn’t make it.”

Davey Johnson dealt with a pretty similar question even more strongly last week.

“When you look at this season, when it’s all said and done, will it be a disappointment, a failure in your mind, if this team does not make the playoffs?” CSN’s Kelli Johnson asked the manager.

“No question in my mind,” the manager said. “You know, and they can fire me.

“Strong words,” Kelli noted.

“Yeah,” the manager agreed. “I mean, we should make the playoffs. There’s no doubt in my mind.”

By next week, a backup middle infielder will likely say something about 120 wins.

(Via SB Nation DC)