Washington Nationals (86-75) at Arizona Diamondbacks (80-81)
Sunday, September 29 - 4:10 PM EST
Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona
The Washington Nationals would like to send retiring manager Davey Johnson out a winner on Sunday when they complete their season-ending three-game set against the host Arizona Diamondbacks. The Nationals secured a series victory on Saturday with a 2-0 triumph — highlighted by a sterling effort from former Diamondback Dan Haren. That pitching performance allowed the 70-year-old Johnson to shuffle the cards on the finale as rookie Tanner Roark received the nod on Sunday over left-hander Gio Gonzalez.
Johnson admitted earlier this weekend that he wanted Gonzalez to pitch Sunday's contest if he needed to remain 300 games over .500. Saturday's victory moved Johnson's overall mark to 1,372-1,070, so Roark is free to make the start. The right-hander would be wise to keep an eye on Paul Goldschmidt, who extended his hitting streak to a career-best 18 games on Saturday.
TV: 4:10 p.m. ET, MASN2 (Washington), FSAZ (Arizona)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Nationals RH Tanner Roark (7-1, 1.74 ERA) vs. Diamondbacks LH Wade Miley (10-10, 3.63)
Roark saw his three-start winning streak come to an end on Monday after permitting season highs in both runs (four) and hits (nine) in five innings against St. Louis. The 26-year-old served up his lone homer of the campaign (46 2/3 innings). Roark, who has yet to face Arizona, has issued just three walks in his last four starts (24 innings).
Miley settled for his second straight no-decision and third in four outings despite scattering four hits over six scoreless innings against San Diego on Tuesday. The 26-year-old is 6-4 at home, but his 4.39 ERA is three-quarters of a run higher than his season average. Miley, who is 1-2 in his career versus Washington, has allowed just two homers in his last six trips to the mound.
1. Goldschmidt is tied with Pittsburgh 3B Pedro Alvarez with a National League-leading 36 homers.
2. Washington CF Denard Span, who ripped his league-leading 11 triple on Saturday, is just 6-for-29 against Arizona - and 1-for-4 versus Miley.
3. The Diamondbacks, who fell under .500 for the first time all season, need a win on Sunday to finish their second straight season with an 81-81 mark.
PREDICTION: Diamondbacks 4, Nationals 2