What to Watch For: 9/25

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Washington Nationals (93-60) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (77-76)

LHP Ross Detwiler (10-6, 3.10) vs. LHP Cole Hamels (15-6, 3.05)

The Nationals embark on their final road trip of the season following a 4-3 homestand against the Dodgers and Brewers. Southpaws Ross Detwiler and Cole Hamels tangle in the first of a three-game set in Philadelphia, as the Nats and Phillies prepare to play six of their final nine games against one another.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

From manager Davey Johnson on resting his regulars down the stretch:

“We’re in a pennant race. You take nothing for granted in a pennant race. We’ve still got to win five games.”

That being said…

NATIONALS LINEUP

1. Werth RF

2. Harper CF

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. LaRoche 1B

5. Morse LF

6. Desmond SS

7. Espinosa 2B

8. Suzuki C

9. Detwiler LHP

C-NOTE

Just two RBI shy of the century mark, Adam LaRoche looks to become the third player to record a 100-RBI season in a Nationals uniform, joining Ryan Zimmerman (‘06, ‘09) and Adam Dunn (‘09-10). The Nationals mark for RBI in a season was accomplished when Zimmerman drove home 110 as a rookie in 2006. After a slow start offensively, Zimmerman has tallied 71 of his 93 RBI in his last 81 contests and needs just seven to reach the 100-RBI plateau.

ROSS THE BOSS

Coming off a win over the Dodgers on Thursday, Ross Detwiler looks to collect his 11th win of the season tonight against Philadelphia. This will be just his second start of the season against the Phillies, but note that Detwiler has tossed 14.1 straight scoreless innings in his last two starts against the NL East rivals. Moreover, Ross is 7-1 with a 2.52 ERA in 14 games/12 starts against NL East rivals in 2012.

NOTABLE NOTES

One year ago today (entering play on Aug. 26, 2011), the (tied for) third-place Nationals trailed the first-place Phillies in the NL East standing by 21.5 games. This year, the two clubs have swapped spots in the standings as Washington holds a 16.0-game advantage over the third-place Phillies in the NL East. Washington is 12-9 against the Phillies since Davey Johnson became manager, including a 4-1 mark in one-run games. Before going 10-8 against the Phillies in ‘11, the Nationals/Expos had won only two season series from Philly the previous 14 years.

DATE IN D.C. BASEBALL

September 25, 1932: Walter Johnson earns his final win as manager of the Senators, a 2-1 decision over the Philadelphia A’s at Griffith Stadium. Johnson’s 1932 Nationals won 93 games, but finished third in the American League, 14.0 games behind the 107-win Yankees.

September 25, 2007: The Nationals edge the Mets, 10-9, at Shea Stadium, but the game’s ending is noteworthy. Up 10-3 entering the bottom of the ninth, Jon Rauch (save) staves off New York’s furious rally by retiring Carlos Delgado (K) and Paul Lo Duca (F9) with the tying run in scoring position.

- FOLLOW NATIONALS VS. PHILLIES LIVE -

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