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Arizona Diamondbacks (65-91) at Washington Nationals (91-65)
Wednesday, September 28 - 7:05 PM EST
Nationals Park, Washington, District of Columbia
The health of key pieces on the roster is the biggest concern for the Washington Nationals in the final week of the regular season, and the team got some bad news on that front Tuesday. The Nationals will be moving on without All-Star catcher Wilson Ramos the rest of the way and will try not to lose anyone else when they host the Arizona Diamondbacks in the third of a four-game set on Wednesday.
Ramos landed awkwardly on his right leg trying to retrieve a throw in Monday's series opener and was revealed to have a torn ACL after tests on Tuesday, ending his season on the eve of the postseason. "There's never an opportune time," Washington manager Dusty Baker told reporters of the injury. "This was the most inopportune time." The Nationals managed to earn a 4-2 win without Ramos on Tuesday to stay ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the battle for homefield advantage in the upcoming National League Division Series between the two clubs. The Diamondbacks exploded for 14 runs on Monday but went back to their low-scoring ways on Tuesday and have tallied two or fewer runs in eight of the last 11 contests.
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, FSN Arizona, MASN 2 (Washington)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Diamondbacks RH Shelby Miller (2-12, 6.47 ERA) vs. Nationals LH Gio Gonzalez (11-10, 4.51)
Miller is coming to the end of a disappointing season and finally appears to be pitching like the young ace for which Arizona traded prior to the season. The 25-year-old looked ready to earn his first win since June 20 on Friday at Baltimore and left the game with the lead after scattering three hits over six scoreless innings but the bullpen could not secure the victory. Miller is 2-2 with a 2.85 ERA in seven career starts against Washington.
Gonzalez is tuning up for the postseason by trying to find some consistency after managing just three quality starts in his last nine outings. The Florida native was ripped for six runs at Atlanta on Sept. 17 and could not get past the fifth at Pittsburgh on Friday while surrendering three runs on five hits and three walks in a no decision. Gonzalez has never lost to Arizona, going 2-0 with a 2.97 ERA in five career starts.
1. Nationals RF Bryce Harper (thumb) and 2B Daniel Murphy (glute strain) both sat out the first two games of the series and remain day-to-day.
2. Arizona 2B Jean Segura homered three times in the last two games to reach 20 on the season.
3. Washington RHP Stephen Strasburg (strained flexor mass) is unlikely to return in time for the division series.
PREDICTION: Nationals 9, Diamondbacks 7