User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto Racing
Horses
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Nationals close out Phillies, 5-1

New Sportsbook.com customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

   

WASHINGTON (AP) - The NL East champion Washington Nationals secured home-field advantage throughout the postseason by beating the Philadelphia Phillies 5-1 Wednesday for their majors-high 98th victory, with Ryan Zimmerman homering moments after the Teddy Roosevelt mascot won the Presidents Race at Nationals Park for the first time.

Advertisement
By winning their regular-season finale, the Nationals clinched top seeding for the NL playoffs and will open on the road Sunday at the winner of Friday's wild-card game between Atlanta and St. Louis. Game 2 will also be at the wild-card winner's stadium, before the best-of-five series shifts to Washington.

Before Wednesday's game, the Nationals were fitted for hats with postseason patches.

A team from the nation's capital hasn't participated in Major League Baseball action beyond the regular season since the Senators lost the 1933 World Series.

All in all, it was a festive day for the announced crowd of 37,075 and the Nationals (98-64), a club that hadn't finished higher than third place since moving from Montreal in 2005 and twice lost 100 games in a season. This is the first time the Expos/Nationals franchise has finished first in a complete season.

Philadelphia finished third in the division at 81-81, ending a streak of nine straight winning seasons and five consecutive playoff appearances. The nine winning seasons matched the team record set from 1975-83 - the Phillies followed that by going 81-81 in 1984.

Edwin Jackson (10-11) became Washington's fifth pitcher with at least 10 wins, giving up one run and six hits over 6 2-3 innings. He left to a standing ovation, one of several on a muggy afternoon with the temperature in the 70s.

Rookie Tyler Moore's solo shot in the sixth inning made him the seventh member of the Nationals with at least 10 homers this season.

And then, of course, there was Teddy's triumph in the middle of the fourth inning, ending a losing streak that drew attention even from the White House press secretary and Sen. John McCain.

Teddy had lost more than 500 times since 2006, when the Nationals began holding races among 10-foot-tall foam renderings of Roosevelt, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln at home games.

The Nationals' very next batter, Zimmerman, led off the bottom of the fourth with his 25th homer, his team's first scoring off Cliff Lee (6-9).

The hitter after that, Michael Morse, doubled and eventually scored, too. In the eighth, Morse added his 18th homer, a two-run shot off reliever Jonathan Papelbon that drew a curtain call.

Lee, who finished with a losing record for the first time since 2007, departed after the sixth. He allowed eight hits and three runs, didn't walk a batter and struck out seven.

In the eighth, Papelbon lost control of a breaking pitch that buzzed near Zimmerman's head, drawing boos from the stands. Papelbon wound up walking Zimmerman, who tipped his cap in reaction to loud cheers as he walked to the dugout, replaced on first base by pinch-runner Bryce Harper. Morse followed with a drive to right-center.

The 19-year-old Harper and first baseman Adam LaRoche were out of the starting lineup - a chance to get a breather before the grind of the postseason begins.

NOTES: By virtue of the NL's victory in the All-Star game, the league's representative gets home-field advantage against the AL in the World Series. ... The season's total attendance of 2,370,794 - an average of 30,010 - was nearly 50,000 higher than the previous high at Nationals Park, in 2008, the first season at the new ballpark. ... After originally planning to sell standing room only tickets on the day of NL division series games, the Nationals announced they would begin making those available Wednesday. ... Washington's second batter of the afternoon, Mark DeRosa, was robbed of a homer by left fielder Juan Pierre, who leaped to make the catch right at the top of the wall. DeRosa was getting a second consecutive start, this time in right field after playing shortstop Tuesday. ... Philadelphia 1B Darin Ruf delivered a sac fly in the fourth. He has driven in all eight Phillies runs in their last four games against Washington. ... He has Phillies CF Nate Schierholtz went 3 for 3, including two doubles. ... Phillies RHP Tyson Brummett made his major league debut in the eighth, allowing two singles and striking out batters.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
ASA: Betting Underdogs
Rose: Who's Hot - AL Edition
CC beats Price; Yanks top Rays 10-2
Wainwright has 2-hitter, Cards blank Nats
Lester leads Red Sox past White Sox
Phillies edge Braves in low-scoring affair
Tigers hold on for 7-5 win over Indians
Kouzmanoff, Rangers beat Mariners 8-6
Gibson leads Twins past Jays, 7-0
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
MLB Pro Baseball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
MLB Hot Streaks
6-1 L7, 15-4 L19, 23-9 +1,676 TY
9-5 +818 L2 Days, +1,560 TY
9-2 G-Plays, +977 This Year
6-1 L7 G-Plays, 22-11 +1,075 Run
4-1 L5 G-Plays, 12-6 L18 Picks
5-1 L6 Picks, 9-4 G-Plays TY
4-1 Over/Unders TY
3-0 L3 Picks, 5-1 L6 G-Plays
5-2 Record Last 7 Totals
5-2, +344 Last 7 Selections
3-1 L4 Guaranteed Plays
3-0 Record Yesterday
27-13 L40 Over/Unders
3-0, +357 Last 3 Guarantees
MLB Pro Baseball Expert Sports Picks- Milwaukee Brewers at Pittsburgh Pirates
2014 MLB SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Dave Cokin + 1676
Bruce Marshall + 1358
Mike Rose + 1055
Underdog Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 866
John Fisher + 781
Dave Cokin + 688
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 800
Matt Zylbert + 402
Joe Williams + 300
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Mike Rose + 873
Bruce Marshall + 370
ASA + 353
Favorite Leaders
Handicapper Money
Dave Cokin + 993
Mike Rose + 558
Chip Chirimbes + 482
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
John Fisher + 1615
Dave Cokin + 1521
Bruce Marshall + 749
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!