National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, October 2nd
(All times Eastern)
Philadelphia Phillies (81-79) at Washington Nationals (96-64), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Philadelphia - B.J. Rosenberg (1-2, 6.86)
Washington - Tom Gorzelanny (4-2, 2.90)
(Sports Network) - With a National League East title in the cards, the
Washington Nationals can still capture the top seed in the playoffs.
The Nationals have dropped three of four games and will try to even their
three-game set with the Philadelphia Phillies tonight in D.C. Washington
dropped a 2-0 decision in Monday's series opener, but were crowned division
champions after Atlanta lost in Pittsburgh.
"A lot of us have gone through the losing," Nationals third baseman Ryan
Zimmerman said. "To be in this position ... is very satisfying."
Bryce Harper had the lone extra-base hit and John Lannan suffered his first
loss (4-1) of the season after he gave up both runs and six hits in five
innings. Craig Stammen fanned six in two innings of relief.
Adam LaRoche is one RBI shy of reaching 100 in the season and becoming the
third player in Washington history to achieve the feat. Zimmerman and Adam
Dunn have both done it with the franchise.
The Nationals franchise won its first division title since the 1981 Montreal
Expos. It also is the first time the Nationals have won a division title since
moving to the nation's capital after the 2004 campaign.
Gio Gonzalez was scheduled to start tonight, but will rest for the playoffs.
Tom Gorzelanny will make his first start of the season Tuesday and is 4-2 with
a 2.90 earned run average in 44 appearances. He tossed 2 2/3 scoreless innings
of relief in a 12-2 bashing of St. Louis last Friday and is 3-1 with a 2.56
ERA in 12 career games (3 starts) against the Phillies.
Philadelphia is out of the playoff picture for the first time since 2006, but
can finish with a winning record for a 10th consecutive season with a victory
Kyle Kendrick and three relievers kept the Nationals off the board in the
series opener, while the former scattered four hits over seven shutout
innings. Justin De Fratus, Jeremy Horst and Phillippe Aumont combined to throw
two innings of relief. Aumont picked up his second save in the ninth.
Darin Ruf drove in each of Philadelphia's runs and both Domonic Brown and
Kevin Frandsen finished with a pair of hits. Watching the Nationals clinch the
NL East didn't sit too well with Phillies manager Charlie Manuel.
"It made me mad," Manuel said. "I'm a bad loser, and I always will be."
The Phils, winners of three straight, had won the division in five straight
years. Shortstop Jimmy Rollins did not play last night due to a injured right
calf and could sit out the rest of the season. Rollins is batting .250 with a
team-leading 23 home runs and 68 RBI.
The Phillies are 9-7 against the Nationals this season and have prevailed in
five of the previous seven matchups between the division foes.
10/02 11:43:50 ET