Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nationals try to secure the No. 1 seed in the NL playoffs this afternoon.
After giving most of his regulars last night's game off, Davey Johnson planned to get most of them back in the lineup today. The only anticipated exceptions: Bryce Harper and Adam LaRoche, though there's still a chance either or both could play.
Edwin Jackson gets the start for the Nationals, getting one last chance to earn his 10th win and become the fifth member of the rotation to reach double digits, a fairly impressive accomplishment.
Updates to come, so please check back...
PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 1:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 183
Weather: Cloudy, 80 degrees, Wind 5 mph out to CF
CF Jayson Werth
RF Mark DeRosa
3B Ryan Zimmerman
LF Michael Morse
1B Tyler Moore
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
C Jesus Flores
RHP Edwin Jackson
LF Juan Pierre
3B Kevin Frandsen
2B Chase Utley
C Carlos Ruiz
RF Domonic Brown
1B Darin Ruf
CF Nate Schierholtz
SS Michael Martinez
LHP Cliff Lee
HP Greg Gibson
1B Phil Cuzzi
2B Gerry Davis (cc)
3B Manny Gonzalez
1:07 p.m. -- We're underway with a strike from Edwin Jackson to Juan Pierre.
1:12 p.m. -- Well, that's pretty much exactly what Jackson needed in his first inning since last weekend's fiasco in St. Louis: He retired the side on six pitches, five of them strikes. Good way to get this one started.
1:17 p.m. -- Man, Mark DeRosa can't catch a break. Last night he came within a few feet of his first homer in two years but had to settle for a double off the wall. And just now he launched what looked like might be a homer to left, only to be robbed by Juan Pierre. Scoreless after one.
1:36 p.m. -- Leadoff double for Michael Morse in the second, but he was stranded there, with Tyler Moore, Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa unable to bring him home. Still scoreless after two.
1:45 p.m. -- Three scoreless for Jackson now, who has brought his A game back. Certainly will leave a better taste in his mouth -- and the Nats' mouths -- entering the postseason.
1:52 p.m. -- Jayson Werth just missed a homer himself in the bottom of the third, settling for a two-out triple off the wall in deep right-center. But he was stranded there when DeRosa flied out to center. So it's still 0-0 after three.
2:05 p.m. -- Well, the Phillies took the lead in the top of the fourth on a sac fly by Darin Ruf, but let's be honest. The bigger news is: Teddy won the Presidents Race! Full story to come.
2:20 p.m. -- Well, what do you know? Moments after Teddy won the race, Ryan Zimmerman homered to right to tie this game 1-1. And then Michael Morse doubled to deep center. And then Tyler Moore doubled down the left-field line. The Nats now lead 2-1 after four. So, basically, I've come to this conclusion: Had Teddy simply won the race way back in 2006, the Nationals might well have seven consecutive 162-0 seasons. What a waste.
2:50 p.m. -- Meanwhile, Jackson has now tossed six innings of one-run ball. Just what the doctor ordered. The Nats still lead 2-1 as we go to the bottom of the sixth.
3:05 p.m. -- Now Tyler Moore goes deep in the bottom of the sixth for his 10th homer of the season. That puts the Nats up 3-1. Since Teddy won the race, they've gone 6-for-12 with two doubles and two homers. In that same time, the Phillies have gone 1-for-7.
3:16 p.m. -- That'll do it for Jackson, who is lifted with two outs in the seventh, having pitched a gem. Interesting: Randy Knorr made the pitching change. I don't see Davey Johnson in the dugout. Don't believe he was ejected. Might just be letting his bench coach manage today as a treat.
3:35 p.m. -- A 1-2-3 inning of relief from Sean Burnett, who has gotten himself back on track lately. Nice to see entering the postseason.
3:45 p.m. -- Michael Morse goes deep to make it 5-1 and bring Bryce Harper (who pinch-ran for Zimmerman) home with his 98th run of the season.
3:52 p.m. -- Today's attendance: 37,075. That brings the final season total to 2,370,794 over 79 dates, for an average of 30,010 per date. Interesting that they happened to just barely announced enough today to get that figure up over the 30K mark.
4:07 p.m. -- That's it. The Nats win 5-1 to finish the season 98-64. They clinch the No. 1 seed for the postseason, and they'll open the NLDS on Sunday at either Atlanta or St. Louis.