Tonight's Top 5:
5. Good Night, NatsTown: The Nats' final home game of 2010 is being played in front of less than (an estimated) 15,000 fans, (though the announced crowd is 20,026) with the threat of rain and having to watch the hometown team lose their 91st game of the year apparently keeping folks away from Nationals Park. The Nats announced tonight that they drew 1,828,066 fans to Nationals Park this year, an average of 22,569 per game. At home the Nats are guaranteed to finish a game above .500 as they enter tonight's matchup with the Phillies at 41-39 in D.C., but their dismal 27-51 road record is what ensures that the Nats will once again be making a Top 10 selection in next year's draft. In the post game press briefing tonight, the Nationals' Skipper Jim Riggleman took a moment to thank the Nationals' fans for providing his team with a home field advantage (of sorts) throughout this season:
Jim Riggleman: "I think all of us, the Lerners, Stan [Kasten], Mike [Rizzo], myself, the coaches, players, all of us really appreciate, genuinely that [the fans] have been very patient. The number of fans that come out is going to double here and triple here when we really get it going and we want it to happen sooner or later for the ones who are here now, the ones who were here through the tough times, and they're so supportive. You don't get any of the negative stuff, the catcalls and the booing of players, I think they appreciate [that] our guys play hard and they give a good effort and our players appreciate the way the fans treat them here. So, it's going to get the reputation of a great place to play, but you can only wait so long, fans have been very patient and hopefully in the near future we'll get this thing really going in the right direction."
More from the game after the JUMP...
4. Back-to-Back Jacks: After back-to-back scoreless frames from Nats' lefty Ross Detwiler and Philly righty Joe Blanton, Detwiler gives up a HR to Mike Sweeney, who jacks a 92 mph 1-2 fastball out of the park and into the visiting team's bullpen for his 8th HR of 2010. The Phillies' backup outfielder Ben Francisco takes the very next pitch about 50ft to the left of where Sweeney's blast landed and before an out is recorded in the top of the second it's 2-0 Phillies...Top of the fourth, Detwiler walks Mike Sweeney this time, gives up a single to Francisco and then surrenders a 3-run blast to center by John Mayberry for a 5-0 Phillies' lead.
3. Det Is Done: Apparently failing to absorb last inning's lesson, Ross Detwiler issues another leadoff walk in the fifth as well, and two-outs later surrenders the fourth Phillies' HR of the game, and the second of the game for Ben Francisco, making it 7-1 Phillies after Nyjer Morgan had singled, moved to second on a groundout when a DP throw from Sweeney hit him in the back, took third on the throwing error and scored on Ian Desmond's RBI grounder in the bottom of the fourth. HR's are too easy for the Nats...
2. 8 Hits?: As of the seventh inning, when Roger Bernadina K's swinging stranding two, the Washington Nationals have been held to 8 hits in the final 3-game home series with the Phillies, even though one of those eight, Adam Dunn's walk-off blast last night actually led to their one win of the series. A big middle of the order bat if Adam Dunn isn't re-signed, a top of the order bat if Morgan doesn't find what he had in the end of '09 again, and a top of the rotation starter since Strasburg won't be back until the end of the year. All of these things are on the Nats' winter wish list. Will they get it done? In Rizzo We Trust.
1. Sign Adam Dunn!! Sign Adam Dunn!! Sign Adam Dunn!!! Sign Adam Dunn!! SIGN ADAM DUNN! SIGN ADAM DUNN!!: Before what could be Adam Dunn's last at bat in Nationals Park, the crowd that's remaining lets the Nats' Front Office know one more time what they want...SIGN ADAM DUNN! SIGN ADAM DUNN! A standing ovation for the DC Faithful's big middle-of-the-order bat and one last round of "Sign Adam Dunn" which has been heard throughout the park in the final homestand...Dunn finishes up the home schedule with a swinging K, as he goes 0 for 4 with 4 K's...The Nats go down in order in the ninth and the home half of the season is in the books. 41-40 at home, and 68-91 overall with 3 more with the Mets in New York still to be played.
• Adam Dunn's message to the DC Faithful delivered by the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore via Twitter:
@AdamKilgoreWP: "Dunn: "I thought it would be like any other game. When I started hearing that stuff, I tried to hit every ball as far as I possibly could."
Federal Baseball thanks everyone in NatsTown for another great year.
Nationals now 68-91.