File photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nats a win today to salvage a series split with the Brewers.
The Nationals, of course, do need to win a few more games to wrap this thing up, and they'd certainly love to move step closer today with a victory in their series finale against the Brewers (who are trying to hang on in the Wild Card race but still trail the Cardinals by 2 1/2 games for that final postseason berth).
Wisconsin native Jordan Zimmermann is the starter for this Monday matinee. He'll face a former National in Marco Estrada, who in case anyone forgot posted a 7.20 ERA in 15 appearances (all but one out of the bullpen) for Washington in 2008 and 2009 but has since become a legitimate big-league starter for Milwaukee.
I've got today off, possibly my last day off until the Nationals' season ends (whenever that is). Chase Hughes is covering on my behalf, though, so look for his game updates here and the day's other news on the homepage. I'll talk to you all tomorrow from Philadelphia...
MILWAUKEE BREWERS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 1:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 183
Weather: Sunny, 65 degrees, Wind 8 mph LF to RF
RF Jayson Werth
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
LF Roger Bernadina
C Kurt Suzuki
RHP Jordan Zimmermann
RF Norichika Aoki
2B Rickie Weeks
LF Ryan Braun
3B Aramis Ramirez
1B Corey Hart
C Jonathan Lucroy
CF Carlos Gomez
SS Jean Segura
RHP Marco Estrada
HP Marvin Hudson
1B Tim McClelland (cc)
2B D.J. Reyburn
3B Ted Barrett
1:13 p.m. -- Jordan Zimmermann got out of the first after walking the second batter, Rickie Weeks. The second and third outs both came on fly balls to center field with the second tracked down by Bryce Harper at the wall. He crashed into the wall and tumbled, but had slowed his momentum enough to avoid a big impact. Zimmermann is at 14 pitches (9 strikes) through the first.
1:27 p.m. -- Harper got on with one out on a chopper to third that dribbled down the line like a perfectly placed bunt. He was then moved to second when Zimmerman walked. Harper came home to score two batters later on an errant throw to third when the Nats tried a double steal. Ramirez was far off the bag at third and Lucroy's throw went way over his head. 1-0 Nats.
1:30 p.m. -- And with the first pitch of the second inning Corey Hart takes Zimmermann yard for his 28th home run of the year, this a shot to right-center field. 1-1 here at Nats Park.
1:39 p.m. -- The Brewers got another man on with a two-out triple by Segura. Zimmermann then struck out Estrada to end the frame. On to the bottom of the second in a 1-1 game. Zimm'n has thrown 36 (24) through two.
1:47 p.m. -- No one gets on for the Nats in the second. Espinosa flew out to shallow center, Bernadina was then out at first on a bunt attempt (*UPDATE: Bernadina was called out because his bat hit the ball when he dropped it), and Suzuki then flew out to deep center field. Estrada is at 35 pitches through two with 21 of them strikes.
2:07 p.m. -- No score through the third as the Nationals left a few stranded. Jordan Zimmermann got them started with a single to left and Jayson Werth joined him on base with another one. A Harper flyout, Zimmerman strikeout, and LaRoche popout left them without something to show for it as it remains 1-1 going into the fourth inning. Estrada is at 50 (29).
2:32 p.m. -- Two out hitting, two out hitting. First Bernadina got on first thanks to a fielder's choice. He was then moved to second by a Suzuki single. Zimmermann then punched his second single of the day and scored Bernadina. Then, both Zuke and the Shark came home on a high fly ball to center by Werth. Gomez lost the ball in the sun, ironically a hit by Werth this time, and the Nats were up 4-1. Then Harper walked before Ryan Zimmerman hit a three-run homer to make it 7-1. It was his 24th of the season, he now has 92 RBI.
3:08 p.m. -- The Nationals added two more runs in the fifth off an two-RBI double by Kurt Suzuki. It is now 9-1 Nats heading into the 6th inning with Zimmermann back on the mound having thrown 82 pitches so far.
3:32 p.m. -- Zimmermann retires the first two batters in the 7th before being hooked for Sean Burnett. Zimm'n had thrown 106 pitches for the day, got a big ovation as he walked to the dugout.
3:47 p.m. -- Tyler Clippard comes in to pitch the 8th inning with the Brewers at the top of their lineup. Still 9-1 Nats.
4:02 p.m. -- Clippard was one pitch away from getting out of the inning unscathed until Ryan Braun blooped a single into right field. Ramirez then smashed a double to center to score the Brewers' second run of the game. 9-2 Nats as we head to the bottom of the eighth.
4:22 p.m. -- The Nats added three more in the eighth inning on a two-RBI double by Ryan Zimmerman and a fielder's choice that sent Zimmerman home. Batted home by Zimm were Mark DeRosa who walked and Eury Perez who got his first major league hit by legging out an infield single. Zimmmerman then scored from third on a double play attempt that Espinosa avoided by beating out the throw to first. 12-2 Nats with Drew Storen coming in to pitch the ninth.
4:32 p.m. -- Storen lets two batters on but gets out of it thanks to a double play and a ground out. 12-2 is the final score as the Nats get number 93.