Phillies Defeat Nationals, 2-0; Nationals Clinch National League East Championship with Braves Loss to Pirates


This is it, folks. The final series of the 2012 season.  A Nationals win tonight would send them to their first postseason since they moved to Washington, or a Braves loss would result in the same way. Kyle Kendrick would do everything he could to stall the celebration for another day.

The Phillies took an early lead tonight in the second inning. With two men on, Darin Ruf drilled a triple to deep, left-center field, scoring Carlos Ruiz and Domonic Brown. Bryce Harper was a little shaken up on the play, he slammed into the wall in an attempt to catch it. It was Ruf's first big league triple. 2-0 Phils.

Kyle Kendrick was looking excellent tonight, striking out the big guns on the team in huge situations. Twice tonight Kendrick struck out a batter for the third out while there were men in scoring position.

John Lannan pitched five innings tonight for the Nats, allowing just those two runs in the second inning, six hits total, while walking three and striking out two. 

Craig Stammen pitched the sixth and seventh innings for the Nationals, and he struck out every batter he faced. Two circle K's on the scorecard for Stammen.

After a scoreless seventh, Kyle Kendrick's night and season wrapped up. Tonight Kyle allowed just four hits, while walking one and striking out four. He ends the season with a 3.90 ERA.

Despite the Nationals' lack of runs in this ballgame, the fans kept their eyes on the scoreboard. Through eight innings, the Pirates were leading the Braves, 2-1. As previously stated, a Braves loss would send the Nats to a division championship.

Justin De Fratus came in for the bottom of the eighth. De Fratus allowed one hit and walked one, before Charlie Manuel brought in Jeremy Horst with two outs. Horst struck out LaRoche to end the inning.

The Nationals had one last chance in the bottom of the ninth to win this ballgame. Would it matter, though? Nope, the Braves dropped their game, 2-1 to the Pirates. The crowd at Nationals Park went absolutely nuts when the scoreboard updated. The Washington Nationals are the 2012 National League East Champions.

The Phillies win 2-0 tonight, but the Nationals clinch the division title. This is the first season since 2006 that the Phillies have not won that title. 

Tomorrow night, the most pointless ballgame of the season will be played at 7:05. The Phillies will send out their bullpen, while the Nationals will send out Gio Gonzalez. 

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