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Game 160: Phillies at Nats

Oct 1, 2012, 7:38 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Nationals Park hosts the potential NL East clincher tonight.

If they had their druthers, the Nationals would have popped the champagne corks over the weekend in St. Louis. That, obviously, didn't happen but it does present a nice opportunity to clinch the NL East title at home in front of their own fans.

Officially, the Nationals have four shots to win one home game: three against the Phillies, then (in a worst-case scenario) a tiebreaker game Thursday against the Braves. Needless to say, they would really prefer to finish this thing tonight and not subject themselves to anymore torture.

John Lannan is on the mound, hoping to duplicate his solid start in Philadelphia last week. He'llLannan be up against a Phillies lineup without Ryan Howard or Jimmy Rollins. And his teammates will go up against Kyle Kendrick (who they knocked out in the third inning last week at Citizens Bank Park).

If you've got tickets to the game, hope you enjoy the experience. If you're watching at home, be sure to check back here for updates and analysis throughout…

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 183
Weather: Cloudy, 64 degrees, Wind 6 mph out to LF

NATIONALS (96-63)
RF Jayson Werth
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche

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254 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:29 AM

    I guess Sanguillen was gone by then, too. I always liked Steve Blass and Briles in 1971, and I hated the 79' disco and retro hats–and I usually like retro, but those were dopey. Both beat superior O's teams–baseball is not kind in the post-season, just ask the 1954 Indians, who went 111-43 in the regular season and with fellow losers the 1969 and 1971, O's had the best pitching staff ever and were built for the post-season, lol, but lost 4 games straight.

  2. ehay2k - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:29 AM

    Pitcher looks nervous with Harper at the plate…

  3. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:34 AM

    Mala suerte….

  4. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:34 AM

    Here comes Joel Hanrahan.

  5. Secret wasian man - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:35 AM

    Lots of chances no heros.

  6. Manassas Nats' Fan - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:35 AM

    Zim your killing me.

  7. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:35 AM

    I think that if Ryan could re-do that play, he would do everything the same but maybe hit it a couple of feet shorter…. It was probably just a lack of concentration on his part….

  8. Section 222 - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:36 AM

    I love the 1971 Pirates, but I always disliked the 1979 Pirates. Does that make any sense?From this childhood Bucs fan, the answer is:No. :-)

  9. Secret wasian man - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:36 AM

    Here we go in western PA. Ex nat coming in.

  10. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:36 AM

    DeFratus first 3 pitches to Zim were all out of the zone.

  11. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:38 AM

    That '71 series that I have gotten mostly by osmosis and MLB highlight re-plays was pretty killer. Frank Robinson about killed himself at home to win game six.

  12. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:38 AM

    Not Hanrahan. Jared Hughes.

  13. Section 222 - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:38 AM

    Gascanrahan not pitching for the Pirates. 1 on, 1 out.

  14. Manassas Nats' Fan - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:38 AM

    Hanrahan 1 out then E6 on easy play

  15. Gonat - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:39 AM

    3rd baseman with a throwing error in Pittsburgh.

  16. Secret wasian man - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:39 AM

    Gutless. Gotta swing.

  17. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:39 AM

    Maybe we want a Braves comeback so as not to back in…?

  18. ehay2k - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:39 AM

    Strikeout pitch to ALR did not look close.

  19. SCNatsFan - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:40 AM

    And it doesn't look like LaRoche will get to 100 but man has he had opportunity after opportunity the last couple of weeks and not come thru

  20. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:40 AM

    No, I think it is that guy from Subway pitching for the Pirates. Subway should hire the Phils' first baseman for a new ad campaign….

  21. Manassas Nats' Fan - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:40 AM

    What the hell. Is it against rules to swing with 2 outs 2 strikes on balls in the strike zone with runners in scoring position.This is getting really poor

  22. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:41 AM

    One more out needed in Pittsburgh

  23. Secret wasian man - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:42 AM

    No braves comeback. If the Nats don't back in I don't think they will get in. NL east that is

  24. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:43 AM

    George Costanza on first for Braves–will it soon be Festivus for the Braves?

  25. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:43 AM

    This is the best game the Nats have played since last week. I am pretty happy with the pitching after this weekend.

  26. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:45 AM

    Will the O's finish with a positive run differential? I still can't take them seriously. They remind me of the 2005 Nats in the first half….

  27. Section 222 - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:45 AM

    Ladies and Gents, your 2012 NL East Champions, the Washington Nationals!!

  28. Secret wasian man - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:45 AM

    ALRs at bat was a microcosm of what the nats have been doing for the last two weeks. And that's waiting for something to happen instead of going after it

  29. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:45 AM

    It's over in Pittsburgh! Your 2012 National League East Champion WASHINGTON FREAKING NATIONALS!!!!GYFNG!!!Congratulations to all the Nats, Mark, Mrs. Z, Baby Z and all the Nats Insiders. Cheers. Barkeep, a Perrier all around for my friends!

  30. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:45 AM

    Brian McCann up and its game over. Nats are Division Champs. Thank you Pirates.

  31. slidell2 - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:46 AM

    We're in! Pirates win! Braves lose! Division champs!

  32. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:46 AM

    Congrats to Nats players, coached, and fellow fans!!! Great.Let's walk-off now against Phillies tonight.

  33. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:47 AM

    Okay, here is some proof: The Braves just tweeted that the lost ensures a home game on Thursday.

  34. Secret wasian man - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:47 AM

    Legion of doom says. Congratulations. Pittsburgh pirates NL east champs. Sorry everyone. The nats do deserve the crown but WOW they are not playing well of late. Lets get some rest.

  35. Manassas Nats' Fan - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:48 AM

    Now takecare of this game. Reds losing

  36. Jimmy - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:48 AM

    Division Champs!!!!!

  37. Gonat - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:48 AM

    All this in front of the Philthies! Swwweeeet. This place is going nuts!

  38. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:48 AM

    And actually, if I understand correctly, the Braves are guaranteed 3 home games now, while otherwise, they would only be guaranteed one. Crummy system and crummy way to clinch.

  39. Section 222 - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:48 AM

    Carp — "At a moment like this, you think of the '33 Senators." Not really, but hey, think of whatever you like. This is awesome!!

  40. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:49 AM

    But at least we clinched against the Phillies, right?

  41. ehay2k - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:49 AM

    Congrats fellow NI'ers and long suffering Nats fans!

  42. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:51 AM

    Walter Johnson High School in Monty Co–this is for you!

  43. SCNatsFan - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:51 AM

    I guess in the end doesn't matter how we got here, we got here. Right the ship for the next leg. We've all waited a long time for this.And, as a aside, the marketing department should learn to wait until we win the division to actually start selling shirts…

  44. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:52 AM

    This is sweet. As I said 8 days ago, Braves would be 8-2 or 7-3. Right now 6-2 with 2 to go.

  45. Section 222 - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:52 AM

    Time to switch over to watching Reds vs. Cards. Cards up 3-1 in the 6th.

  46. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:53 AM

    Walter Johnson, now that guy was a good baseball announcer. I love his radio work. He and Dizzy Dean were something on the radio.

  47. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:54 AM

    O's still trying.

  48. Section 222 - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:54 AM

    As I said in mid-Sept., we got this folks!! Now to stay at least tied with the Reds for home field advantage.

  49. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:55 AM

    I think you can drive yourself crazy about whether you would rather face St. Louis, or San Fran or Atlanta. It doesn't matter in a five game series.

  50. DaveB - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:57 AM

    WODL … The Braves are definitely NOT "guaranteed 3 home games". They lose the first one and they are done! We, however, ARE guaranteed at least 3 postseason games. Lookin at the bright side :-)

  51. Secret wasian man - Oct 2, 2012 at 2:00 AM

    Glad to see the guys having fun. They deserve it. Lets get some rest and get cranked up for the playoffs

  52. Secret wasian man - Oct 2, 2012 at 2:04 AM

    Ok I think the nats have gotten over the loss. Hahahaha.

  53. Section 222 - Oct 2, 2012 at 2:40 AM

    Everyone complaining about the playoff format should relax. It's a one year only problem. Starting next year, the top two seeds will play the first two NLDS games at home in a 2-2-1 format. There won't be any question that you'll want to be the top seed and play the WC winner. I still want the No. 1 seed this time even if the opponent is the Braves. Less travel, and having home field advantage in the NLCS is worth it.

  54. natsfan1a - Oct 2, 2012 at 3:55 AM

    lol, sorry I missed that one. I need to work on my timing and eye. :-)ehay2k said… natsfan1a – I (jokingly) implied that Mark Z. knew you didn't have a fancy wireless typewriter so his note to "…enjoy the experience." was aimed at you. sigh, another weak attempt at humor requires an explanation longer than the joke itelf. :-( Has the game started yet? cuz I am going nuts until is does! October 01, 2012 4:41 PM Scooter said… ehay2k said… sigh, another weak attempt at humor requires an explanation longer than the joke itelf. :-( Welcome to my world. Here I am, stuck in the middle with you. October 01, 2012 4:45 PM

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 71 53 --
ATLANTA 66 60 6.0
MIAMI 63 62 8.5
NEW YORK 59 67 13.0
PHILADELPHIA 55 71 17.0
Through Tuesday's early games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
WED: Diamondbacks at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
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.
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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