Los Angeles Dodgers
Matt Kemp scored a phantom run early, then hit a go-ahead homer in the ninth inning – right after Washington rallied with a six-run eighth – and the struggling Los Angeles Dodgers grabbed a 7-6 victory Wednesday night for a doubleheader split that prevented the Nationals from sewing up a playoff berth.
The win was the Nationals’ 90th, the most for a Major League Baseball club in the nation’s capital since 1933 – also the last time a D.C. team played beyond the regular season.
The scheduled game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Washington Nationals on Tuesday night was postponed because of rain.
Nationals fans are still white knuckling after seeing their team get swept in Atlanta, and that anxiety only grew last night when the Braves closed the gap to 5 games. But have no fear. Very soon you’ll be able to celebrate something you’ve waited for 8 full seasons…a playoff berth.
The Nationals have a commanding lead over the NL East, a commanding claim on a playoff berth and a commanding foothold at the top of the stats books. Take Strasburg out of the equation and we know they still have at least one of those. They’d still be in first place without him.
The Nats were just swept in Philadelphia to bring their losing streak to four games, with just a four-game lead over Atlanta. But even if Washington found themselves in a standings free fall, with an 8.5-game lead over the next NL non-division leader, the Wild Card is almost a guaranteed contingency plan.
The Washington Nationals, one of the most decimated-by-injuries teams in the league with over 580 man-games missed, have still managed to maintain the 2nd largest division lead out of all 30 teams in Major League Baseball.
Bryce Harper stood out in his surprise call-up over the weekend, not just with his hair or with his bat, but with his arm. And considering he hit well against one of the league’s better pitching staffs, perhaps Harper could be the bolt of energy this lineup needs.
Lefty Gio Gonzalez (2-1) allowed two runs, three hits and five walks through six innings, and struck out seven. He’d gone 6-0 in his previous eight starts since last Sept. 12 – the Nationals haven’t scored more than two runs in any of his five starts while he’s been in the game.
The Washington Nationals’ top prospect can take satisfaction from the fact he hit a rope over Kemp’s head in center field for a double in the third at-bat of his major league debut.