Sep 24, 2011, 4:06 PM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Chien-Ming Wang faces Brandon Beachy today at Nationals Park.
The final home series of each season always includes a few bittersweet moments, and one of those will probably come today in the penultimate game at Nationals Park this year. Ivan Rodriguez is in the lineup and behind the plate for the first time since July 4, after which an oblique strain threw a wrench into his 21st big-league season.
Davey Johnson wanted to make sure Pudge got an opportunity to start two more games: This one and Wednesday's finale at Florida, where Rodriguez was a World Series hero in 2003. Given the progress Wilson Ramos and Jesus Flores have made this season, there is no realistic chance the Nats will re-sign Pudge for 2012. So that makes this his swan song, and hopefully the fans here will recognize it the way they did last night when he came up to pinch-hit and got a standing ovation.
Chien-Ming Wang also makes his final appearance of the season today, his 11th start since returning from major shoulder surgery. Like Rodriguez, Wang is due to become a free agent. Unlike Rodriguez, he appears likely to return; the two sides have begun preliminary talks on a new contract.
Updates to come, so please check back…
BRAVES at NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 1:05 p.m.
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 184
Weather: Chance of rain, 76 degrees, Wind 4 mph in from RF
SS Ian Desmond
CF Rick Ankiel
3B Ryan Zimmerman
LF Michael Morse
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NL WILD CARD STANDINGS
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