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The Washington Nationals trimmed their magic number down to five in the National League East on Monday afternoon, winning the series finale over the Milwaukee Brewers by a score of 12-2. The Nats rode a six-run fourth inning and yet another strong performance on the mound from Jordan Zimmermann to their 93rd victory this season.
With the score tied at 1-1 in the fourth inning, Zimmermann came to the plate with two runners on and two outs. He lined a single into center field to plate a run, giving Washington a lead they would not relinquish. Jayson Werth followed with a two-run double, and after Bryce Harper drew a walk, Ryan Zimmerman belted a three-run homer to make the score 7-1.
Zimmerman pitched 6-2/3 innings of one-run ball on Monday, giving up just four hits and two walks. He struck out seven as he recorded his 12th win of the season and lowered his ERA to 2.90. Brewers starter Marco Estrada was not as fortunate, lasting just four innings while giving up seven runs (six earned) on eight hits and two walks.
The Nationals, now 93-60 this season, will head to Philadelphia for a big three-game series with the Phillies.
For more on the Nats, be sure to check out Federal Baseball.
With his 20th win of 2012 on Saturday, Gio Gonzalez became just the 10th player in D.C. baseball history to reach twenty wins in a single season since 1901.
The Washington Nationals will hope to earn a series split in a Monday matinee as they finish off a four-game set against the Milwaukee Brewers.
With a little bit more than a week left in the regular season, the Nats are 4.5 games up in the NL East race with a magic number of six. The Atlanta Braves are off Monday, so the Nationals are guaranteed move half a game in the standings, for better or worse. There's obviously a lot more at stake for the Brewers, who are 2.5 games behind the final Wild Card slot while Washington is at least guaranteed of some sort of postseason play after clinching a postseason berth for the first time in team history last week.
For the Nats, Jordan Zimmermann will toe the rubber, looking to continue a strong stretch of three 5-plus inning performances with less than two runs allowed that's seen his ERA dip to 2.96. Marco Estrada has an impressive streak of over 13 scoreless innings after two consecutive outings without giving up a run, earning wins over the Braves and Pittsburgh Pirates.
|Fri 09/21|| WP: Jose Veras (5 - 4)
SV: John Axford
LP: Tyler Clippard (2 - 6)
|2 - 4 loss|
|Sat 09/22|| WP: Gio Gonzalez (20 - 8)
LP: Wily Peralta (2 - 1)
|10 - 4 win|
|Sun 09/23|| WP: Brandon Kintzler (3 - 0)
SV: John Axford
LP: Ryan Mattheus (5 - 3)
|2 - 6 loss|
The Washington Nationals (92-6) fell 6-2 to the Milwaukee Brewers (79-72) on Sunday afternoon at Nationals Park, reducing Washington's lead in the National League East to just 4.5 games over the Atlanta Braves. Milwaukee has taken two of the first three games of this four-game weekend set.
Milwaukee's Yovani Gallardo threw five innings for the Brewers, striking out five Washington batters while allowing six hits and two walks.
National League MVP candidate Ryan Braun was two for three in the game, both scoring two runs and driving in another. Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks was three for five in the ballgame. Washington's Ian Desmond was the only Nationals batter to have more than one hit, going two for two on Sunday.
The two teams wrap up their four-game series on Monday at Nationals Park. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m ET.
The Washington Nationals trail the Milwaukee Brewers 2-0 after five innings of play on Sunday. Chien Ming-Wang, getting the start to allow Jordan Zimmermann extra rest, has allowed eight hits and two runs in his four innings of work. Wang has even chipped in at the plate, hitting a double in the third inning.
Milwaukee starter Yovani Gallardo has struck out three and walked one, allowing four hits in four innings. National League MVP candidate Ryan Braun is 2-2 on the day, driving in one Brewers run, with catcher Jonathan Lucroy driving in the other Milwaukee run.
The Washington Nationals look to win the weekend series against the Milwaukee Brewers and protect the best record in Major League Baseball on Sunday, as Chien-Ming Wang takes the mound against Yovani Gallardo at 1:35 p.m. ET in Nationals Park.
Yesterday, the Nats defeated the Brewers, 10-4, allowing Gio Gonzalez to become the first pitcher in Major League Baseball to notch 20 wins this season. Gonzalez had great run support out of his club to earn the win, with a six-run fourth inning highlighted by a pair of three-run homers out of Ryan Zimmerman and Ian Desmond off of Milwaukee's Livan Hernandez.
Today, the Nationals will have a bit more of a test on their hands as they face Brewers ace Yovani Gallardo (16-8, 3.59 ERA). The last time Gallardo faced the Nationals was on July 26 when he gave up seven runs over five innings. Since that outing, however, Gallardo is 8-0 and has been one of the National League's more dominant pitchers since the All-Star break.
Taking the mound for Washington is Wang, who has spent much of this season with the club's AAA affiliate in Syracuse, NY. Wang returned to the majors on Wednesday of this week, where he gave up just two hits over 2⅓ innings against the L.A. Dodgers.
The game will be broadcast on FSWI in Milwaukee and MASN 2 HD in Washington.
Gio Gonzalez pitched seven strong innings, striking out five and surrendering three hits and two runs, none earned. Wily Peralta lasted only 2⅔ innings, giving up three earned runs and walking four. The win is Gonzalez's 20th of the season.
The Nats' offense got going in the third inning. Jayson Werth, Bryce Harper, and Adam LaRoche all hit doubles, and LaRoche scored on an Ian Desmond infield single to make it 3-0. Washington put Milwaukee away in the fourth inning, when Ryan Zimmerman and Ian Desmond both clubbed three-run home runs to stretch the lead to 9-0. LaRoche would add a solo home run in the eighth inning to round out the scoring for the Nats.
It was a tough day for the Brewers, who are still chasing a playoff spot. The loss drops them two games behind the St. Louis Cardinals for the last wild card spot.
For more on the Nationals, check out Federal Baseball.
The Washington Nationals look to shake off Tyler Clippard's Friday night implosion and continue their drive to the N.L. East title as they square off in the second game of their series with the Brewers on Saturday at Nationals Park. The magic number stands at seven for Washington, who have already clinched a playoff spot, but are still looking to sew up their first division title in DC.
Cy Young candidate Gio Gonzalez takes the hill for the Nationals, looking to build his award resume. Gonzalez is league-leading 19-5 with a 2.95 ERA on the season, but gave up four runs (two unearned) in five innings in a loss to the Braves in his last outing. The Brewers counter with rookie righty Wily Peralta, who pitched eight scoreless innings against New York on Sept. 16. Peralta has given up a total of four runs in his three career starts.
First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 on MASN 2.
For more on the Washington Nationals, check out Federal Baseball.
The Washington Nationals took a 2-1 lead into the ninth inning on another brilliant starting pitching performance, but Tyler Clippard was lit up for three run,s allowing Milwaukee to continue their improbable wild-card run with a 4-2 victory.
Clippard relieved starter Edwin Jackson in the ninth, and trouble began almost immediately. Brewers right fielder Norichika Aoki led off the frame with a bunt single to third and was able to reach second on a passed ball by Nats catcher Jesus Flores. Aoki scored on a Ryan Braun single to tie the game, which was followed by an Aramis Ramirez double to left that gave Milwaukee the lead. Ramirez was then able to score on a throwing error by Washington shortstop Ian Desmond. Craig Stammen would come in to finally get Washington out of the jam, but the damage was done as the Nats could muster only a single walk against John Axford in the ninth.
Washington got on the board early. After a Ryan Zimmerman single, Adam LaRoche smashed a Shaun Marcum pitch over the fence in right. It looked like that would be all the help Jackson needed. Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy hit a solo shot in the top of the second, but Jackson would scatter only five more hits while striking out six in eight innings. Milwaukee's only threat before the ninth was in the fourth, when Ryan Braun tried to score from second on a Ramirez single to center, but was thrown out at the plate by Bryce Harper. Likewise, Washington was unable to mount another serious rally against Marcum, who would allow only four runs in six innings pitched.
With Atlanta's loss at Philadelphia, the Nationals will still see their magic number for a division title reduced to seven. The two teams resume the series tomorrow, with Gio Gonzalez on the hill for the Nats against rookie Wily Peralta for Milwaukee.
For more on the Nationals, check out Federal Baseball.
Fresh off clinching a playoff sport with Thursday's win over the Dodgers, the Washington Nationals resume their penultimate homestand of the season with the first of a four-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers Friday night at Nationals Park. The Brew Crew has won five straight games and sits 2.5 games back of the St. Louis Cardinals in the race for the National League's second wild card spot.
Here are Friday night's lineups.
Milwaukee Brewers (77-72)
Washington Nationals (91-58)
At long last, the Washington Nationals have qualified for the MLB postseason -- but there's still work to be done, as the team needs to avoid collapse to clinch the NL East and has incentive to hold out for the best record in the National League, as well.
As it stands today, the Nats have assured themselves at least a spot in the NL Wild Card game, the one-game playoff between the league's two best non-division winners to see who advances to the NLDS. They have a 5½ game lead in the NL East on the Atlanta Braves with 13 left to play, a solid, nearly insurmountable lead. But the real prize would be to have the best record in the NL.
The division-winner with the league's bet record will get to face off against the winner of the Wild Card game, a team that will have less rest than its opponent as they'll have needed to scrap for the Wild Card spot. They'll likely try to set up so that they have their best pitcher on the mound for the one-game playoff, which would likely prevent that ace from being able to pitch multiple NLDS games. The Nats currently have a half-game lead on the Cincinnati Reds. Whoever comes up short will likely face off against the San Francisco Giants.
Here's a look at the NL East Standings -- it's still a while before one can add a little "X" next to Washington in these standings, as their magic number is at eight.
After clinching a postseason berth on Thursday, the Nationals continue their push to lock up the NL East with a weekend series against the Brewers.
For SB Nation DC's Nationals editor Patrick Reddington, the Nats' return to the postseason was a long time coming, in more ways than one.
Chien Ming Wang will be starting for the Washington Nationals when they face the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.