What to Watch For: 10/2

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Philadelphia Phillies (81-79) vs. Washington Nationals (96-64)

RHP B.J. Rosenberg (1-2, 6.86) vs. LHP Tom Gorzelanny (4-2, 2.90)

The Nationals clinched their first-ever NL East title Monday night, with two games remaining in the 2012 regular season. As such, Tom Gorzelanny takes the place of 21-game winner Gio Gonzalez as tonight’s starter as Washington takes on the Phillies in the middle contest of a three-game set.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

From Adam LaRoche, former Pittsburgh Pirate, on Pittsburgh beating Atlanta 2-1 to eliminate the Braves from NL East contention, giving the Nationals the division crown:

“It’s the first time in my life that I’ve rooted for the Pirates.”

NATIONALS LINEUP

1. Lombardozzi 2B

2. Harper CF

3. Moore LF

4. LaRoche 1B

5. Tracy 3B

6. DeRosa SS

7. Bernadina RF

8. Leon C

9. Gorzelanny LHP

NL EAST CHAMPS

Last night, the Nationals won their first-ever NL East crown and secured a spot in the National League Division Series. Their magic number, which began the day at one as the result of a 96-win campaign, reached zero when Atlanta lost, 2-1, on Monday at Pittsburgh. The District will experience its first postseason October baseball since the 1933 AL Nationals lost a five-game World Series to the Giants. Those AL Nationals also won AL pennants in 1924 (World Champions) and ‘25. This marks the second postseason trip for the franchise, as Montreal lost to the Dodgers in the five-game ‘81 NLCS.

GORZO GETS THE BALL

Replacing scheduled starter Gio Gonzalez, Tom Gorzelanny today will make his first start since July 23, 2011. The lefty is 35-42 with a 4.62 ERA in 110 career starts and owns 50 quality starts over that span. In his last outing on Friday, he struck out one en route to scattering a hit and two walks in 2.2 scoreless innings.

DATE IN DC BASEBALL

October 2, 2009: The Nationals win their fifth straight (part of a seven-game win streak to end the season), as Livan Hernandez leads them to a 6-3 victory at Atlanta. Mike MacDougal notches his 20th save with a scoreless ninth inning, while Ian Desmond homers and drives home three runs.

- FOLLOW NATIONALS VS. PHILLIES LIVE -

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