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Game 156: Nats at Phillies

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

NATIONALS (94-61)
RF Jayson Werth
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche

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229 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. MicheleS - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:00 AM

    Wow.. GREAT inning by Clipp. Maybe now that he is back in the 8th inning role he can get himself right.

  2. Steady Eddie - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:00 AM

    Yes, we have the old Clip back!Davey sees all once again.

  3. Section 222 - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:01 AM

    Davey seems intent on showing confidence in Clip and getting him back on track. If he falls off, just keep putting him on that bicycle. Classic Davey, and I hope it works. If he and Burnett can get it together, we'll have our solid back end of the bullpen ready for the playoffs.

  4. A DC Wonk - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:01 AM

    And the next time somebody says "when's the last time Clip had a 1-2-3 inning . . . " ;-)Nice to see Clip be on track tonight!

  5. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:01 AM

    Klip, that's what we're talking about Just get that top of the K zone fastball going !

  6. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:02 AM

    This was the T-Clip I know and love.

  7. hiramhover - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:02 AM

    WODLAnd tonight is a reminder of what you might be giving up by benching him–even a diminished Morse is more of a power threat than Bernie.

  8. DaveB - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:02 AM

    peric … no reason to be so nasty & rude. MichelleS specifically said she was watching Kingman when he played for the Cubs. Those years he hit .268, .288, and .278. Sounds similar enough to Mikey to me.

  9. MicheleS - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:06 AM

    Nice 2b for werth… Notice all those EMPTY seats.. geesh..

  10. hiramhover - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:08 AM

    Wow – the audio from CBP is sounding like the old Marlins stadium – quiet enough that you can here the individual louts.How the mighty have fallen.

  11. Feel Wood - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:09 AM

    Living Social is sponsoring the late night Metro. Living Antisocial is sponsoring the late night peric.

  12. NatsLady - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:09 AM

    What do they do if there is a tie for best record in the league? Go to a tiebreaker, like record against? We won the season series against both Reds and Giants.

  13. waddu eye no - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:09 AM

    Tylers pitchin lordKumbayaPeople bitchin lord kumbaya

  14. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:09 AM

    You never know. I am as happy as anyone to see Morse back on track but the double play grounders in key spots were getting tiresome. I do think that when a guy is slow like Morse, you have less of a margin for error. Other guys would be beating some of those ground balls out.

  15. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:11 AM

    Is there any stat less meaningful than a save? I get so tired of these announcers saying "not a save opportunity."Who cares if it is a save opportunity or not? Come in and get the guys out in order.

  16. MicheleS - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:12 AM

    WODL.. here ya on the GDP. Remember Zim was a GDP machine for the last few years. I think it depends on who is on in front of you. Since Werth and Harp are on in front of RZ this year, haven't seen it as much. Unfortunatly for Morse. ALR is on in front of him usually, and ALR is not exactly fleet of foot.

  17. waddu eye no - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:14 AM

    Werth is hittin lordKumbayaPhilly's uh, well, you knowKumbaya

  18. MicheleS - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:15 AM

    Keep it up Waddu..those are funny.

  19. NatsLady - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:15 AM

    Harper cost a run with not letting Werth steal. Wonder if he will be in the Kangaroo Court for that. :)

  20. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:15 AM

    Good point about ALR. I have cursed ALR's speed, or lack thereof, quite a few times this year. Now that Mickey Mantle, he sure could run….

  21. waddu eye no - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:19 AM

    Phans are booin'Michelle's woohooin'

  22. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:20 AM

    Don't even think how pitchers would approach the Nats with no big men in the 4/5. Tough decision coming in the off-season on ALR.

  23. Joe Seamhead - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:21 AM

    Mark's got his finger on the #3 trigger.

  24. MicheleS - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:21 AM

    WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! #21 for GIO! Number is 3

  25. Steady Eddie - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:22 AM

    95 wins and a magic number of 3! Gio with an MLB-best 21 wins, Sweet Fancy Moses, as our good host would say!GYFNG!

  26. Gonat - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:22 AM

    Way to go! Magic #3

  27. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:22 AM

    Marlins 9-9 vs. Nats 4-14 vs. Braves

  28. Joe Seamhead - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:23 AM

    Mark punched that magic number down to three while the last pop up was still in the air!

  29. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:31 AM

    I wonder what Mike Dunn will be doing next year.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
x-WASHINGTON 87 64 -- 0
ATLANTA 76 76 11.5
MIAMI 74 77 13.0
NEW YORK 73 80 15.0
PHILADELPHIA 70 82 17.5
Through Wednesday's games
x-Clinched division title

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
THU: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

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.

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