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
THU: Diamondbacks at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
FRI: Giants at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Giants at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Giants at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 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
- Are Nationals finally playing to full potential? (VIDEO)
- Mo'ne Davis and company have one more chance
- Young guns bat, slide Nationals to ninth-straight win
- Matt Williams projects when Ryan Zimmerman will return
- Span tabs Nats teammate & rival to do ice bucket challenge
- Williams debates keeping streak alive or long term health
- VIDEO: Bryce Harper's hair is on fire and he plays the ukulele
- Asdrubal Cabrera fitting in with Nats in first few weeks since trade
- Phillies' A.J. Burnett will 'probably' retire after this season
- Desmond leads way with 4 RBI in Nationals' 8th straight win