Washington’s Nationals wrapped up the regular season with an 8-2 win over the Cleveland Indians, making it eight straight at home heading into Tuesday’s NL Wild Card Game.
Joe Ross put together a solid outing, holding the Indians to a run on four hits over six innings of work on the mound in the nation’s capital, and Juan Soto (RBI double), Kurt Suzuki (2-run home run), Brian Dozier (2-run single), and Gerardo Parra (2-run double) provided plenty of offense in the Nats’ 93rd win.
Thanks for reading all season, assuming anyone actually reads these after they just watched the whole game, and we’ll see you on Tuesday night. - FBB
Ross vs the Indians: Joe Ross returned from some time off to let pain in his forearm subside to toss four strong innings against the Phillies last week, giving up four hits and one run in a short outing in which he was limited because of the time off.
Ross, who had Tommy John surgery in 2017, told reporters after that outing that he was just happy to finish the season healthy in his first full year back.
“I feel good and feel like I’m getting stronger as the year’s been going,” Ross explained, “and hopefully take that into the final week of the season and then go from there.”
Ross tossed two scoreless to start this afternoon, on 30 pitches, but his 32nd offering, a 1-0 changeup to Francisco Lindor, ended up in the second deck in right for a game-tying home run, 1-1, after the Nationals jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first.
It's homecoming season, so we got this tie.#RallyTogether pic.twitter.com/PxB2XtCj98— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) September 29, 2019
Ross retired 10-straight after a one-out walk to Carlos Santana in the third, but a two-out hit to left by Mike Freeman in the sixth ended that streak, though he got a force at second base in the next at bat to end a 14-pitch frame which left him at 78 pitches.
The 6 Ds of Dodgeball:— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) September 29, 2019
Dodge. Dip. Duck. Dive. Dodge. Difo.#STAYINTHEFIGHT // #OnePursuit pic.twitter.com/DSrJiWh4Bf
Joe Ross’s Line: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 Ks, 1 HR, 78 P, 50 S, 7/1 GO/FO.
Clevinger vs the Nationals: Heading into his final start of the 2019 campaign, Indians’ right-hander Mike Clevinger, 28, was (3-1) in five starts in September, with a 1.57 ERA, nine walks, 42 Ks, and a .190/.244/.317 line against in 34 1⁄3 IP, having given up two runs or fewer in his previous eight starts, with scoreless appearances in four of the eight.
Clevinger gave up a run in the first, with Trea Turner singling to left to start the bottom of the inning, stealing second (35), and scoring two outs later on an RBI double to right field by Juan Soto, whose 32nd two-base hit made it a 1-0 game.
It was tied at 1-1 in the third when Clevinger walked Adam Eaton with two out and gave up a two-run blast to left by Kurt Suzuki, who lined a 1-0 slider over the wall for his 17th home run of the season and a 3-1 lead.
Happy Homecoming!— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) September 29, 2019
May we have this dance? (Follow our lead.)#STAYINTHEFIGHT // #OnePursuit https://t.co/iVZleI2CFi pic.twitter.com/EDBJskAym3
Clevinger held the Nationals there through five, but gave up a one-out single by Michael A. Taylor, a two-out walk to Victor Robles, and, after a double steal, a two-run blooper to short right off Brian Dozier’s bat, 5-1. That was it for the Indians’ starter...
Mike Clevinger’s Line: 5.2 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 4 Ks, 1 HR, 99 P, 61 S, 6/3 GO/FO.
Turn, Turn, Turner: Trea Turner started Game 162 of 162 with an 11-game hit streak going, over which the 26-year-old shortstop was 17 for 51 (.333/.358/.745) with six doubles and a total of five home runs in those games. Turner extended the streak to 12-straight when he singled through the left side of the infield to lead off the first... then stole his 35th base of the season. He left the game early with Davey Martinez subbing players out, with a 2 for 3 game leaving him with a .298 AVG on the season.
BULLPEN ACTION: Adam Cimber took over for Mike Clevinger with two outs, and the score 5-1 Nats with a runner on in the sixth, and gave up a single by Wilmer Difo and a double off Gerardo Parra’s bat that drove in two more, 7-1.
Aaron Barrett came on for the Nationals in the top of the seventh, with a six-run lead, and gave up back-to-back singles and had a run score from third on a wild pitch with two out, but kept it there, 7-2.
Nick Wittgren gave up a leadoff single by Andrew Stevenson, and a double by Michael A. Taylor in the bottom of the seventh, but stranded both runners.
Erick Fedde retired the Indians in order in a 13-pitch eighth.
Carlos Carrasco gave up three straight singles and a run in the bottom of the eighth, with Brian Dozier, Wilmer Difo, and Gerardo Parra all collecting hits as the Nationals added one run, 8-2.
Fedde came back out in the top of the ninth and worked around a leadoff walk for a scoreless frame...
Meanwhile: In St. Louis, the Cardinals wrapped up the NL Central with a win in their final game of the season, so it’s going to be the Nationals and Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night in the nation’s capital. 8:08 PM EDT for the NL Wild Card Game.
Final Score: 7-2 Nats
Nationals now 93-69