The Washington Nationals defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 5-1 in game 162 of the regular season in front of over 37,000 at Nationals Park. The victory gives the Nationals a record of 98-64, ensuring them of the best record in the Major Leagues and home field advantage througout the National League playoffs. It was Washington's 50th victory of the season at home.
The Nationals wanted a good start out of pitcher Edwin Jackson and he gave them just that, going 6 and 2/3 innings, giving up six hits, a walk and one run, while striking out six batters. It's Jackson's tenth win of the season against eleven losses. Jackson becomes the fifth starter on the team to win ten decisions this year. The performance lowerd Jackson's ERA to 4.03 on the season and should make Nationals manager Davey Johnson feel better about using the pitcher in the playoffs. Jackson threw 65 strikes on 97 pitches and appeared to be in control throughout, even the 4th inning.
The Phillies struck first when a Darin Ruf sacrfice fly to center scored catcher Carlos Ruiz, giving Philadelphia a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth. However, the Nats came back in the bottom of the inning when Ryan Zimmerman homered to right to tie the game. Michaael Morse doubled deep into right field and then came home when Tyler Moore crushed a double into left field. The Nats led 2-1 after four innings.
Tyler Moore struck again in the sixth inning, smashing a Cliff Lee pitch over the left field fence to extend Washington's lead to 3-1. Michael Morse returned in the 8th inning to finish the scoring by demolishing a Jonathon Papelbon pitch over the right-center fence, plating pinch runner Bryce Harper, and extending the lead to 5-1.
The big hits were provided by CF Jayson Werth, who hit a triple, Ryan Zimmerman, who homered and walked, Morse, who hit two doubles and a two-run homer, and Tyler Moore, who hit a double and a solo homer. Zimmerman finishes with 25 homers and 95 RBI, while Morse, who went 3 for 4, ends the regular season with 18 home runs and 62 RBI.
Jackson left the game in the seventh inning, handing a 3-1 lead over to a bullpen that knew just what to do with it. Christian Garcia finished the 7th, while Sean Burnett and Mike Gonzalez handled the 8th and 9th innings, respectively. They were perfect apart from a 9th inning walk yielded by Gonzalez.
Manager Davey Johnson left the dugout late in the game due to back pain and is on medication for inflammation in that area. Johnson addressed the issue after the game, discussing feelings of numbness in his legs and joking that he didn't want to take a "header" like "Gio" Gonzalez. Johnson didn't seem too worried about the condition, saying "I'll be fine" in response to repeated questions about his condition.
Oh, and Teddy finally won.