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The Washington Nationals ended the regular season with a 5-1 win over the Philadelphia Phillies, and the Nats' first 1st Round pick's HR was the difference today in D.C.
• Game 162: The first inning of the 162nd game of 162 on the 2012 schedule went by fairly quickly with both Edwin Jackson and Cliff Lee throwing 1-2-3 innings, E-Jax on six pitches and the Phillies' lefty on 11. The first baserunner of the game came with two out in the top of the second when Jackson walked Darin Ruf, and the first hit of the game followed in the next at bat when Nate Schierholtz doubled down left field and kicked up dust when it bounced when it bounced off the line and into the stands. With two on and two out, however, E-Jax got a grounder to short from Michael Martinez and completed his second scoreless on 17 pitches to leave him at 23 after two. Michael Morse doubled for the 16th time this year to lead off the Nats' second. Two outs later, Morse was still standing on second when Danny Espinosa flew to Domonic Brown in right to end Cliff Lee's second scoreless after 13 pitches, with the Phillies' left-handed starter at 24 through 2.0 scoreless.
• 3.0 Scoreless For E-Jax: Cliff Lee took an ugly hack at a 1-2 slider from E-Jax and K'd swinging to start the third. A check-swing strike three on a 2-2 slider got Juan Pierre rung up by 3B ump Manny Gonzalez. Kevin Frandsen singled through the right side with two down in the top of the third, but Danny Espinosa knocked down a sharp grounder to second from Chase Utley and threw the Phillies' second baseman out to end Edwin Jackson's third scoreless. Jayson Werth tripled off the center field wall with two down in the Nats' third, bouncing one off the fence that Nate Schierholtz couldn't catch and hustling around to third ahead of the throw in. Mark DeRosa had a chance to drive in the first run of the game, but his fly to center stranded Werth and ended the inning. Still 0-0 in D.C.
• TKCHZ!!!: Carlos Ruiz doubled to right on a 1-0 fastball from Edwin Jackson for the Phillies' catcher's 32nd two-base hit of 2012. Ruiz took third on a groundout by Domonic Brown, and scored on a sac fly to center by Darin Ruf when Jayson Werth overthrew home. 1-0 Phillies. Nate Schierholtz singled with two down, but a fly to left by Michael Martinez ended the top of the fourth. Five pitches into the Nationals' half of the frame, the game was tied when Ryan Zimmerman launched a 2-2 fastball to right and... just fair... into the Nationals' bullpen!! THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!! THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!!! HR no.25 of 2012 for Ryan Zimmerman tied it up at 1-1. Michael Morse doubled off the out-of-town scoreboard in right for 17th two-base hit of 2012 and his second double of the game. [ed. note - "Morse is 2 for 2 vs Lee today, and 9 for 22 vs the Phillies' lefty in their respective careers."] Morse scored from second on a double to left by Tyler Moore and the Nats took a 2-1 lead into the fourth. Moore's 9th double. 34-pitch inning by Lee before it was finally done.
• Frandsen Pwns Nats: Edwin Jackson got Cliff Lee swinging for the second time today for the first out of the fifth. E-Jax got Juan Pierre swinging for out no.2 and K no. 4 in 3.2 IP. Kevin Frandsen doubled to left with two down, [ed. note - "Frandsen!! [shakes fist!]"], sliding in headfirst ahead of a throw in from Michael Morse, but a low liner to first by Chase Utley found its way into Tyler Moore's glove for the final out of Phillies' 5th. Jayson Werth singled to left on a 1-2 fastball from Lee, lining one out to Juan Pierre on the Phillies' left-hander's 80th pitch of the game. Two outs later, however, Werth was still standing at first when fly balls from Mark DeRosa and Ryan Zimmerman ended the Nats' fifth.
• Edwin Jackson needed 12 pitches to retire the Phillies in order in the top of the sixth, getting Darin Ruf swinging for out no.2 and K no. 5 in 6.0 IP. Cliff Lee got Michael Morse swinging for the first out of the sixth, but after Tyler Moore worked the count full in the next at bat, the Nats' first baseman crushed a 3-2 cutter from Cliff Lee and sent his 10th HR of 2012 soaring out to left, over the wall and 15 rows into the stands to give the Nats a 3-1 lead. Ian Desmond singled to left in the next at bat, but two outs later he was stranded at first as Lee finished a 22-pitch inning at 109 pitches overall.
• Standing O For E-Jax: Nate Schierholtz doubled to left to start the Phillies' seventh with the fifth extra base hit off E-Jax today. The Nats' bullpen picked up and Jackson got a visit from pitching coach Steve McCatty as the relievers loosened up. Michael Martinez flew to left for out no.1 and Jackson got pinch hitter Laynce Nix swinging with a full-count slider for out no.2 and K no. 6 before he was lifted, to a standing ovation, in favor of Christian Garcia, who got the final out of the inning with one pitch to Juan Pierre. Still 3-1 Nationals. Phillies' reliever Justin De Fratus threw a nine-pitch, 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh, retiring pinch hitter Steve Lombardozzi, Jayson Werth and Mark DeRosa in order. Still 3-1 Nats after seven.
• Edwin Jackson's Line: 6.2 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 Ks, 97 P, 65 S, 8/4 GO/FO
• Here I Go Again: Nats' lefty Sean Burnett got a swinging K from Kevin Frandsen for out no.1 in Philadelphia's eighth. Chase Utley grounded to second for out no.2. Carlos Ruiz connected with a 3-2 fastball from Burnett, but lined out to right to end the top of the inning. Phillies' closer Jonathan Papelbon came out for one more inning of work in 2012. Ryan Zimmerman battled for nine pitches before walking to start the Nationals' eighth. The Nats' first 1st Round pick was replaced on the basepaths by Bryce Harper. The D.C. Faithful gave Zim a standing ovation as he left the field and tipped his helmet to the crowd. Michael Morse stepped in with a runner on and took the Phillies' closer deep to right and over the out-of-town scoreboard for a two-run oppo-boppo blast and a 5-1 lead over Philadelphia. Morse's 18th HR of 2012. Another curtain call, this one for Morse. 5-1 Nationals after eight innings in D.C.
• 9th: Michael Gonzalez came on to end it, popping up Domonic Brown for out no.1. Darin Ruf got punched out for the first base ump for out no.2 on a check swing strike three. Ty Wiggington stepped in as 37,000+ fans in Nats Park stood for the last out. "Let's Go Nats! Let's Go Nats! Let's Go Nats!!" Wiggington... walked. Michael Martinez stepped up with one on and flew to left to end the 2012 regular season. Ballgame. 5-1 Nationals.
The win ties the season series with the Phillies at 9-9. Nationals finish their regular season schedule. Next stop... Playoffs!!!!!
• Miss The Game? The D.C. Faithful Were Watching...
• Doghouse's Post Game WPA Graph: COMING SOON!! W00T!!
Nationals finish regular season 98-64.