Aug 23, 2015, 12:15 PM EDT
The Nationals enter Sunday with a chance to win their second consecutive series, something they have not done since June 23-28. That is yet another mind-boggling fact about the 2015 Nationals, but here we are in August with the Nats hoping for an important series win against one of the worst teams in baseball.
Jordan Zimmermann (9-8, 3.44) will start for the Nationals against his hometown team, while Matt Garza (6-13, 4.98) will take the mound for Milwaukee. Zimmermann is hoping to bounce back from a rough outing in Colorado when he gave up four runs in six innings of work. He allowed nine hits, including three homers, and a walk. Before that, however, he had surrendered just two total runs in his previous two outings.
Garza was also bad in his last appearance when he gave up give runs in five innings against Miami. But, like Zimmermann, he was good before that with a 2.56 ERA across five starts.
Yunel Escobar remains out of the Nats’ lineup as he rests his hyper-extended neck. Other than that, the lineup looks as expected.
Stay tuned for updates throughout the game…
MILWAUKEE BREWERS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 1:35 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 185/855
Weather: Partly cloudy, 82 degrees, Wind 3 mph out to RF
LF Jayson Werth
3B Anthony Rendon
RF Bryce Harper
1B Ryan Zimmerman
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
C Wilson Ramos
CF Michael Taylor
RHP Jordan Zimmermann
2B Scooter Gennett
C Jonathan Lucroy
RF Ryan Braun
1B Adam Lind
LF Khris Davis
CF Domingo Santana
SS Jean Segura
3B Elian Herrera
RHP Matt Garza
HP Rob Drake
1B D.J. Reyburn
2B Joe West (cc)
3B Clint Fagan
1:36 p.m. — Zimmermann has taken the mound and we are underway on a beautiful afternoon in Washington.
1:59 p.m. — It’s 2-1 Milwaukee after the first inning as both teams got some offense going early. The Brewers got their two runs on a homer by Lucroy. That followed a leadoff single by Gennett. The inning nearly got worse, as Braun smoked a line drive off the wall after Lucroy. But Harper threw him out at second on one of Harper’s best defensive plays of the season. The Nats got their run on an RBI double by Zimmerman. He drove in Werth, who led off with a double. Zim never moved past second, however, as Desmond struck out to end the frame. Both starters threw 19 pitches in the first.
2:18 p.m. — There was a lot less action in the second inning, as the game remains at 2-1 Brewers. Segura singled, but that was it for Milwaukee. Ramos then singled for the Nats before Taylor grounded into a double play to end the inning. Zimmermann is at 38 pitches, while Garza has thrown 32.
2:48 p.m. — Wow, where do we start? The Nationals now lead 5-2 after plating four runs in the third, all with two outs. The rally began with a two-out walk by Rendon and he moved to third on a double by Harper to left field. Harper hit a would-be groundout to third base, but no one was there because of the Brewers’ shift. Zim then walked to load the bases. Desmond brought home Rendon on a high chopper to Garza, who muffed an attempt to grab the ball with his barehand. Somehow it was not ruled an error. Espinosa then doubled to clear the bases and give the Nats three more runs. It’s 5-2 with Lind set to leadoff the fourth.
3:11 p.m. — Both teams had their chances in the fourth, but no more runs were scored. It’s still 5-2 Nats after four. The Brewers got the bases loaded before Garza struck out to end the frame. The Nats also loaded the bases before Desmond lined out to center field to send us to the fifth.
3:35 p.m. — The Nationals gave a run back in the top of the fifth, but then added four more of their own in the bottom half of the inning. The first came on a Ramos homer, his 10th of the season. The final three came on a Rendon homer, his second in as many days. The Nats now lead 9-3 with the sixth inning up next. Their second consecutive series win now looks well within reach.
3:57 p.m. — The Brewers got a run in the top of the sixth to make it 9-4, which led to Zimmermann coming out of the game. His final line: 5 2/3 innings , 8 hits, 4 runs, one walk (intentional), 7 strikeouts. The Nats were unable to add to the lead and we go to the seventh inning.
4:14 p.m. — A pretty quiet inning for both clubs in the seventh as the score remains 9-4 heading to the eighth inning. Here comes Drew Storen.
4:34 p.m. — The Brewers got a run off Storen in the eighth, cutting the Nats lead to 9-5. The score would stay the same after Milwaukee set Washington down in order in the bottom of the inning. Here comes Jonathan Papelbon for the ninth.
4:34 p.m. — And that’ll do it. The Nats beat the Brewers 9-5 and take the series. It’s the first time they’ve had back-to-back series victories since late June.
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
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