Oct 4, 2015, 11:56 AM EDT
NEW YORK — And so we have reached final day of what proved to be perhaps the most eventful season in Nationals. Certainly not the most successful, but probably the most eventful. And there’s still more than could happen before this day and this season are officially over.
Bryce Harper enters Game 162 in a neck-and-neck race with Miami’s Dee Gordon for the NL batting title. How close are the two entering today? Harper is currently hitting .3308, while Gordon is currently hitting .3306. Suffice it to say, every at-bat today counts. Harper also needs one more RBI to reach 100 for the first time in his career. He’s tied with Colorado’s Nolan Arenado with 42 homers. And he’s trying to hold off Joey Votto for the on-base percentage title (.462 to .459) as well.
Harper, who sat out yesterday’s nightcap after taking a 97-mph fastball off his left shin, will have to go up against Mets ace Jacob deGrom, making a final tune-up before Game 1 of the NLDS against the Dodgers. Tanner Roark, meanwhile, gets one last chance to make a strong impression on the Nats before heading into what figures to be a fascinating offseason.
Plenty of updates to come, so please check back…
WASHINGTON NATIONALS at NEW YORK METS
Where: Citi Field, New York
Gametime: 3:10 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 185/869
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 59 degrees, Wind 17 mph in from CF
3B Anthony Rendon
2B Trea Turner
RF Bryce Harper
LF Jayson Werth
1B Clint Robinson
SS Ian Desmond
CF Michael Taylor
C Pedro Severino
RHP Tanner Roark
RF Curtis Granderson
3B David Wright
2B Daniel Murphy
CF Yoenis Cespedes
1B Lucas Duda
C Travis d’Arnaud
LF Michael Conforto
SS Ruben Tejada
RHP Jacob deGrom
HP Jim Wolf
1B Gerry Davis (cc)
2B Phil Cuzzi
3B Tony Randazzo
3:10 p.m. — The season finale is underway on what turned into a very nice day here in Flushing. Jacob deGrom throws strike one to Anthony Rendon. Meanwhile in Philadelphia, Dee Gordon doubled on the game’s first pitch, moving ahead of Bryce Harper for the batting title for the moment.
3:16 p.m. — And Harper taps a comebacker to deGrom to end the top of the first. He’s down to .3301, with Gordon up to .3317.
3:42 p.m. — The Nats’ first five batters today vs. deGrom either struck out or hit a comebacker, but Ian Desmond and Michael Taylor each drew walks in the top of the second. It’s still 0-0, though. And more bad news: Gordon homered in his second at-bat, raising his average to .3328. Harper’s going to need to do something his next time up.
3:54 p.m. — Hoo-boy, the Nats don’t have a hit through three innings vs. deGrom, who has struck out six. Harper will lead off the fourth. Roark has tossed two scoreless innings himself so far. 0-0, mid 3rd.
4:12 p.m. — Well, it’s not looking good. For Harper or for the Nats. They’re hitless through four innings, with Harper 0-for-2 vs. deGrom. He made solid contact in the top of the fourth, sending a sharp grounder up the middle. But Ruben Tejada was shaded over that way and made an easy play on it. So Harper is down to .3295. Gordon, meanwhile, is 3-for-3 and is up to .3339. Looks like the batting title ain’t coming to Washington. Bryce will just have to settle for MVP instead. Still 0-0, mid 4th.
4:31 p.m. — The Mets pulled deGrom after four innings and 72 pitches, his final tune-up before Game 1 of the NLDS. So Bartolo Colon is now challenged with keeping the no-hitter intact, and the big guy did it in the top of the fifth. No hits for the Nats yet, though no runs for either team.
4:52 p.m. — Logan Verrett with a perfect sixth inning. Still no hits for the Nats. Still no runs for either team as we move to the seventh.
5:05 p.m. — There goes the no-hitter. Clint Robinson smoked a ball up the middle off Tejada’s left knee, for a base hit. Yes, Tejada had a play on it, but the ball left Robinson’s bat at 110 mph. That’s a clean base hit. But it’s still 0-0 at the seventh-inning stretch, and here’s Sammy Solis to replace Roark.
5:13 p.m. — We go to the eighth. It’s still 0-0. Somebody will score eventually today. It has to happen. Right?
5:31 p.m. — Curtis Granderson took Blake Treinen deep to center in the bottom of the eighth. It’s 1-0 Mets and the Nats are down to their last three outs of the season.
5:44 p.m. — Game over. Season over. Nats lose 1-0. They finish 83-79.
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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