Sep 27, 2012, 7:38 PM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nationals try to win one last time this season at Citizens Bank Park.
PHILADELPHIA — There's obviously plenty at stake for the Nationals tonight in their series finale against the Phillies. First and foremost, of course, they're trying to reduce their magic number to clinch the NL East from 4 to either 3 or 2. But there are some other things to keep an eye on, as well.
From a team standpoint, the Nationals are still in a down-to-the-wire battle with the Reds for the best record in the NL. Cincinnati just stormed back in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Brewers, so the Nats will need to win tonight to maintain a 1-game lead in that department.
From a personal standpoint, Gio Gonzalez takes the mound in search of his league-leading 21st win, trying to keep some distance between himself and the Mets' R.A. Dickey (who is in line to win his 20th this afternoon against the Pirates).
Danny Espinosa, meanwhile, returns to the Nationals lineup after his surprise benching last night. He'll be part of the regular eight in action against Phillies rookie right-hander Tyler Cloyd.
Plenty of updates to come, and we'll also have Bo Porter's thoughts on becoming the Astros' new manager, so please check back…
WASHINGTON NATIONALS at PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
Where: Citizens Bank Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 188
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 71 degrees, Wind 3 mph in from RF
RF Jayson Werth
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
NL EAST STANDINGS
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Orioles at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 12:35 p.m.
Full season schedule
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
Follow us on Twitter
- Asdrubal Cabrera joins Nats after trade, starts at second base
- Nationals send slumping Barrett to AAA
- Asdrubal Cabrera makes his debut
- Nats activate Asdrubal Cabrera, option Aaron Barrett
- MLB Power Rankings: Deadline shakeup in the AL
- Nationals bullpen in surprising rut
- Gio Gonzalez stumbles again in Nats' 10-4 loss to Phillies
- Pitchers' duel becomes battle of bullpens in Nationals 10-4 loss
- Mike Rizzo: Cabrera deal was made out of necessity (VIDEO)
- Nats make deadline move for Asdrubal Cabrera