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Game 158: Nats at Cardinals

Sep 29, 2012, 7:30 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nationals go for their first-ever NL East title tonight at Busch Stadium.

ST. LOUIS — On Sept. 29, 2004, then-mayor Anthony Williams stood before a crowd at City Museum and announced Major League Baseball was returning to Washington, D.C. Though they didn't know yet what the soon-to-be-relocated Montreal Expos would be named, Williams and other officials wore red caps with a curly W logo on the front, the old Senators cap.

Exactly eight years later, a group of Washington Nationals wearing the same logo on their caps could have the opportunity to dog-pile in the middle of the diamond at Busch Stadium, celebrating their first-ever NL East crown and the first title of any kind for a D.C. baseball team since the 1933 Senators clinched tRHPhe AL pennant.

Two things must happen for that scene to play out: 1) The Nationals must defeat a hot Cardinals team that could be within one day of clinching its own postseason berth, and 2) The Braves must lose for the second consecutive night to the Mets. Both games will be taking place simultaneously, so there will be plenty of scoreboard watching from the Nats dugout.

The man on the mound trying to win this potential milestone game will be Jordan Zimmermann, a major piece of the organization's long-term building plan and certainly an appropriate pitcher to take the ball tonight. His teammates face a stiff challenge in Kyle Lohse (16-3, 2.77 ERA), though the Nationals did rough up the right-hander for eight runs four weeks ago in D.C.

Buckle up, folks. This could be a night to remember. I'll have all the updates right here, so please check back…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
Where: Busch Stadium
Gametime: 7:15 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 89
Weather: Clear, 67 degrees, Wind 4 mph LF to RF

NATIONALS (95-62)
RF Jayson Werth
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche

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273 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:20 AM

    People last month were saying that Davey needed to bench Harper against lefties….

  2. Swift Eagle - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:21 AM

    Ugh..Ground ball with eyes…

  3. NatsLady - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:21 AM

    Love McCutch. Hope he is OK and plays against the Barfs. OK, Drew FOCUS FOCUS FOCUS.

  4. JaneB - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:21 AM

    Jeezopeezo, Drew. Shut this down.

  5. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:22 AM

    Just when you thought Storen was back, lol….

  6. JaneB - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:22 AM

    I know I'm a wuss and a loser but I can't watch.

  7. Swift Eagle - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:22 AM

    Not a bad pitch, good hitting

  8. NatsLady - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:23 AM

    NOOOOOO! OK, Drew, just get the next out. I don't understand two things (1)Offense not getting a single run since the 1st inning.(2) Davey leaving JZ in so long.

  9. Exposremains - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:23 AM

    Thats just perfect.

  10. Scott Margenau - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:23 AM

    Bourbon plz

  11. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:23 AM

    I can't say much for our hitting the last 8 innings.

  12. Swift Eagle - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:24 AM

    No doubt the lack of add on runs is a problem…It's almost impossible to keep the Cards under 4 runs…very impressive lineup

  13. ehay2k - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:25 AM

    Man, these Nats and their unrelenting pressure – on US!

  14. Scott Margenau - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:25 AM

    Great point William!

  15. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:26 AM

    I am in ER with my brother heard Harper left in scoring position in top of 9 and Storen refused to have 123 inning. oh well we have seen way too many blown saves

  16. NatsNut - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:26 AM

    Me either Jane B. I've had to leave the room a couple times.

  17. Swift Eagle - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:27 AM

    Look at it this way, the Nats are the only NL playoff team playing meaningful games against good teams…Everyone else in the NL is either locked into their playoff spot or playing opponents who have checked out..It has to help down the road to play all these tight games v. good teams

  18. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:27 AM

    That at bat by Matt Carpenter was embarrassing for him. I hope he doesn't have kids watching that.

  19. ehay2k - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:27 AM

    Best wishes Manassas!

  20. Swift Eagle - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:28 AM

    haha…3 of the 4 "balls" to ALR were strikes on pitch f/x…

  21. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:28 AM

    Big cat text me first hit created because Zim guarding line again. That has backfired a lot recently

  22. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:30 AM

    Does a hit to the outfield even get LaRoche home?

  23. Swift Eagle - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:31 AM

    Guarding the line is the right way to play…Kozma doubled down the 3B line earlier..a lead off single is a lot better than giving up a double…hindsight is 20/20

  24. Swift Eagle - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:32 AM

    Yes

  25. Scott Margenau - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:33 AM

    I don't like that bunt. Rather pinch run n steal…hit n run maybe

  26. Section 3, My Sofa - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:33 AM

    Man, this is great stuff. Playoff baseball, people. Get used to it.

  27. ehay2k - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:34 AM

    WODL – a triple might get ALR home – if he gets a good jump!

  28. Secret wasian man - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:34 AM

    dissappointing to blow that 9th. Ian and danny. get a clue

  29. Swift Eagle - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:34 AM

    ???????

  30. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:38 AM

    The 9th wasn't that bad. Cards got lucky but that is baseball. More disappointing is 0 runs after the first….

  31. Secret wasian man - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:39 AM

    Swift we are playing good teams. We are also not doing to well against those teams. We should be talking about magic number at 1 right now.

  32. ehay2k - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:39 AM

    Secret – how did Ian and Danny blow the ninth?

  33. Swift Eagle - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:39 AM

    Ian and Danny saved Clipp in the 8th…Not sure why one would think they had anything to do with the blown save….Looked like good StL hitting to me…

  34. Secret wasian man - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:40 AM

    They didnt blow the ninth. Just not doing much in this series. lot of KKKKs

  35. Swift Eagle - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:41 AM

    Capt Kurt!!!

  36. ehay2k - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:41 AM

    Zuuuuuuuuki!

  37. NatsNut - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:41 AM

    Yes. Yes it does.William O. Douglas Loeffler said…Does a hit to the outfield even get LaRoche home?

  38. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:41 AM

    I am glad to know that nobody thinks that Bryce should be on the bench anymore when the Nats face lefties.

  39. Steady Eddie - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:41 AM

    Ksuuuuuuuz!!!!!!!!

  40. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:42 AM

    How did Espinosa not score?

  41. Swift Eagle - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:42 AM

    Uh…He did

  42. sm13 - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:42 AM

    That's 2 rbi for Mike Rizzo. What a great August pick-up.

  43. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:42 AM

    Sorry, MASN's stupid graphic was wrong and Carpenter and FP didn't bother to give the score….

  44. Secret wasian man - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:43 AM

    Sorry, missed the 8th. Picking kids up at homecoming dance. Anybody have teenagers? your mind turns to mush after a while. ZUUUUUUUUUUUUKIIIIII

  45. JaneB - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:43 AM

    But then I couldn't turn it off. I love Kurt.

  46. ehay2k - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:43 AM

    Natsnut, it took a WP and then a hit. Just sayin… :-)

  47. Drew - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:43 AM

    Ride that Suzuki!

  48. Scott Margenau - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:43 AM

    Omg omg omg !!! Zuki!!!!!

  49. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:44 AM

    Suzuki has been a great ride….

  50. Swift Eagle - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:44 AM

    That could have been interference…Suzuki could have run into the 3B..

  51. NatsNut - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:44 AM

    LOL! fair enough.

  52. Secret wasian man - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:44 AM

    Lombo from my high school. Atholton.

  53. Exposremains - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:45 AM

    I really like Suzuki.

  54. Swift Eagle - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:46 AM

    Great job by Danny to lay off all those outside pitches to get it to Suzuki…It's all about plate discipline…Lol

  55. Secret wasian man - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:47 AM

    swithing to lifetime channel. very nervous. Bring it home folks.

  56. Secret wasian man - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:49 AM

    Swift. HAHHAHAHA "JUST A BIT OUTSIDE" How can he lay off pitches that close?

  57. NatsLady - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:50 AM

    Craig Stammen, your turn. Two run lead, you can do this!! OK, a single, that is made for a double-play. Craig, FOCUS!!!!

  58. NatsLady - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:51 AM

    Eagle, LOL. Not Methany's best move.

  59. Swift Eagle - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:52 AM

    Davey probably told Craig, "get me these 3 outs and I'll start pronouncing your name correctly"…

  60. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:52 AM

    DP!

  61. NatsLady - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:53 AM

    Toldya. Double play. Just what we needed!

  62. ehay2k - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:53 AM

    Lol Swift. Maybe if he fails, he changes his name to Stamen?

  63. Swift Eagle - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:53 AM

    Haha..Yes NatsLady, I think Methany misread the Tony LaRousa handbook on that one…Intentional walk to the Strike Out leader???

  64. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:55 AM

    We Clinch!

  65. ehay2k - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:55 AM

    LoD comment – We're DOOMEd! Molina has hit a LOT of two-run homer!

  66. Swift Eagle - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:55 AM

    Down to 1….No more scoreboard watching

  67. NatsLady - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:55 AM

    LOve you,love you, love you. Love My NATS. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  68. JaneB - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:55 AM

    Wow. Huge huge huge.

  69. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:55 AM

    I consider this clinching.

  70. sm13 - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:56 AM

    Way to go Craig! We can breathe again!

  71. ehay2k - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:58 AM

    I was listening for MicheleS' victory cry on the TV. Didn't hear it, but i'll fill in for her: WOOOOOO HOOOOO!

  72. Swift Eagle - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:58 AM

    It clinches at least a tie after 162…

  73. sm13 - Sep 30, 2012 at 2:59 AM

    By the way – nice call on the dp NatsLady.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 91 64 --
ATLANTA 76 79 15.0
NEW YORK 76 80 15.5
MIAMI 74 81 17.0
PHILADELPHIA 71 85 20.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Sunday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON (4) 91 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 89 67 2.5
y-ST. LOUIS 87 68 4.0
-------------------------
SAN FRANCISCO 84 71 7.0 --
PITTSBURGH 84 71 7.0 --
MILWAUKEE 80 76 11.5 4.5
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Sunday's early games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Marlins at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Marlins at Nats, 1:35 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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