Brewers-Nationals Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated September 21, 2012
The Washington Nationals are headed to the postseason. If the Milwaukee Brewers keep playing the way they have, they could be headed there as well. After securing the franchise's second playoff berth, the Nationals look to prevent the visiting Brewers from extending their season-high winning streak to six games Friday night. For the first time since 1933, postseason baseball will be played in the nation's capital after Washington (91-58) beat Los Angeles 4-1 on Thursday to clinch the franchise's first playoff berth since the Montreal Expos won the NL East in 1981. The Nationals' magic number to win the East is eight. "We've been through a lot and a lot of us in here have been through a lot of not-good times and these are the beginning of hope for a lot of good times,'' said third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, who is 5 for 14 (.357) in the last four games. "It's a first step, and it's a long ways to go." Milwaukee (77-72) has lost five of six at Washington, but won five straight overall and 23 of 29 to move within 2 1/2 games of St. Louis for the final NL wild-card spot. The Brewers rallied from three runs down to score five times in the last two innings Thursday to complete a three-game sweep at Pittsburgh with a 9-7 win. "We're doing everything right, right now,'' said third baseman Aramis Ramirez, who went 3 for 5 with a homer and three RBIs. "I played on a couple of really good teams in Chicago (with the Cubs) but we started off the season really well. We've kind of made a late push here. Hopefully, it's not too late.'' Ramirez has certainly helped the Brewers make their push, batting .351 with eight home runs and 23 RBIs in his last 24 games. He's 6 for 11 with three doubles and a homer against the Nationals this season. Teammate Rickie Weeks is batting .333 with seven homers and 16 RBIs in his last 20 games to raise his average from .213 to .232. The second baseman is 6 for 14 (.429) with three doubles and a home run against the Nationals. One of the few concerns facing the Brewers might be scheduled starter Shaun Marcum (5-4, 3.91 ERA), who is 0-1 with a 5.70 ERA in five starts since missing more than two months with tightness in his elbow. The right-hander has not earned a decision in four consecutive starts, most recently Saturday when he allowed four runs in four innings of a 9-6 win over New York. "He's just missing on his location,'' manager Ron Roenicke said. "I don't know if it's a rhythm thing with his delivery, or I don't know what it is.'' This will be Marcum's first appearance against the Nationals since he allowed two solo homers and one other hit while striking out 11 in seven innings of a 7-3 win for Toronto on June 16, 2007. Washington counters with Edwin Jackson (9-10, 3.89), who pitched seven scoreless innings in an 8-2 win at Milwaukee on July 26 to improve to 3-2 with a 3.46 ERA in six starts against the Brewers. Jackson, however, is 1-1 with a 7.47 ERA during his last three starts overall. The right-hander gave up four runs and two homers in 5 1-3 innings while not factoring in the decision of a 5-4 loss at Atlanta on Saturday. Washington shortstop Ian Desmond, who had two hits Thursday, has batted .380 with 12 RBIs in his last 20 games.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Greg Jennings: Ryan Tannehill has had his hands tied by coaches

Josh McDaniels 'happy' with Pats but wants to be a head coach again

WATCH: Jim Harbaugh in cleats throws out first pitch at Cubs game

Why Rickie Fowler will win the PGA Championship

Warren Sapp bitten on arm by shark

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Fitzpatrick, Jets agree to one-year deal

Baker considering removing Papelbon from closer role?

Greg Hardy struggling to find work, reportedly even in CFL

Jets players told not to discuss Ryan Fitzpatrick situation

Brock Lesnar won't be punished by WWE for UFC drug test

Report: Cowboys to be fined up to $250K for suspended players

Report: Ravens WR Mike Wallace failed conditioning test

WATCH: Kobe Bryant drives Ferrari around Italian racetrack

Terrelle Pryor shouts out Ohio State after ban ends

Justin Timberlake advocates for Memphis to join Big 12

Poll: Las Vegas residents don’t support public funds for NFL stadium

Conor McGregor talks trash to Nate Diaz on ‘Conan’

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Real Madrid can’t train at Norwegian school because of the kids

Newspaper uses Michael Jordan ‘crying face’ as image

Equipment manager Blake Griffin punched no longer works for Clippers

Report: Nicks signing one-year deal with Saints

Reds 'picking up the pace' on Jay Bruce trade talks

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker