...I arrive home in the top of the fifth with DC down 2-1 after Nationals' left fielder Roger Bernadina singles, takes second on a sac bunt and scores on an RBI double by Anderson Hernandez. The Phillies quickly take back the lead in the bottom of the fifth, with Jayson Werth leading off by blasting a solo shot to right for a 3-1 Phils' lead. Philly lefty Jamie Moyer has a 3-1 lead through the top of the sixth, with the rest of the run support coming on sac flies from Pat Burrell and Carlos Ruiz in the Phillies' fourth.
On John Lannan's 24th birthday, the DC left-hander allows 7 hits, 3 ER, 1 HR and 1 walk with 5 K's in 5.0 innings pitched, replaced on the mound by Steven Shell and Mike Hinckley, who throw a scoreless frame each to bring the Nationals up in the top of the eighth, still down 3-1, with Cristian Guzman, Ryan Zimmerman and Lastings Milledge lined up against Philly reliever Ryan Madson.
The Guzzzz, Cristian Guzman starts the eighth with a single, followed by a Zimmerman double and a sac fly from Milledge to draw DC within one at 3-2 Philadelphia. Nationals' reliever Garrett Mock gets the first two outs of the home half of the frame and then allows a single by Shane Victorino and a double by Pedro Feliz to give the Phillies back their two-run lead...
Which Philly would need...Phillies' closer Brad Lidge comes on to close out the win and the division, and starts the top of the ninth by striking out Emilio Bonifacio. Roger Bernadina quiets the crowd with a single to right. A walk to Ryan Langerhans and Lidge has Philly worried. Anderson Hernandez singles! Bernadina scores. 4-3 Philly. Cristian Guzman singles. Bases loaded. Two outs...Ryan Zimmerman rips a sin... Phillies' shortstop Jimmy Rollins dives, makes the play, tosses to Utley to Howard's outstretched glove...DOUBLE PLAY! The Phillies win the EAST. The Phillies win the EAST! 4-3 final.
The Mets win. The Brewers lose. New York and Milwaukee now tied atop the Wild Card standings with one game each still to play tomorrow. But that's not the race the DC Faithful are concerned with...(ed. note - "It's not that I want the Nationals to lose their way to the #1 pick overall, it's more like I want some return on the 101 losses I watched/followed...")
THE STRASBURG FILES...
Updated Standings after Seattle's win over Oakland this afternoon:
The bottom of the MLB standings...
29. Seattle - 60-101 - .373
30. Washington - 59-101 - .369
The Nationals finish their 2008 schedule tomorrow in Philadelphia. The Seattle Mariners welcome the A's for one more in Safeco. The future of one Stephen Strasburg lies (possibly) lies in the balance...Philly lefty Cole Hamels has already been pulled from Sunday's start with rookie left-hander J.A. Happ Kyle Kendrick taking his place in the final start of the regular season for Philadelphia. 1:35 pm EST tomorrow...
Things DC Fans Will Learn Tomorrow...(aka "Reasons To Watch")
1. Can "Opening Night" Odalis Perez win his 8th start?
2. Who will win the Nationals' HR Race?:
a. Lastings Milledge - 14 HR's.
b. Ryan Zimmerman - 14 HR's.
c. Elijah Dukes - 13 HR's.
d. Willie Harris - 13 HR's.
3. Who gets the #1 Draft pick in 2009?
Nationals now 59-101. (Countdown To 100 Losses is Over.)