"We're playing the game the right way. Hopefully, we're going in the right direction."—Pete Orr, Oct. 1, 2009
THE RESULT: Pete Orr's one-out single to left field drove home Ryan Zimmerman, who opened the ninth inning with a double, and the Washington Nationals eked out a 2-1 win over the Atlanta Braves before 38,237 at Turner Field.
The Braves found out earlier in the day that they had been eliminated from the playoffs by a Colorado Rockies victory.
Washington won its fourth in a row and improved its record to 56-103.
Nats starter Garrett Mock, who has lost six consecutive decisions since his last win on Aug. 25, gave up one run on five hits and four walks in six innings. He battled Braves rookie of the year candidate Tommy Hanson. The 23-year-old went seven innings and gave up just one earned run on five hits and two walks, striking out nine.
Tyler Clippard (W, 4-2, 2.78) got the win in relief of Mock by throwing 2 2/3 innings, allowing three base runners (one hit, two walks) and striking out four. Mike MacDougal got the final out for his 19th save, a grounder to third that Zimmerman (2-for-4, one run, one RBI) made a terrific dive and throw from his knee on to get a force at second.
Atlanta closer Rafael Soriano (L. 1-6, 3.05) allowed the winning run.
THE TAKEAWAY: Mock, in his final start of 2009, still allowed way too many runners, but limited Atlanta to just one run, on a solo shot by Nate McLouth. He's got to get his walk totals down if he wants to pitch consistently well in the major leagues, but he did well to keep the Braves off the scoreboard when they got runners on.
Though none resulted in a double play, he got 12 ground ball outs and only one fly ball out. That's the stuff Mike Rizzo wants to see out of his starters.
THE GOOD: Ryan Zimmerman. His two hits were both solid drives to the gaps for a double, so he's really seeing the ball well right now.
THE BAD: Adam Dunn. 0-for-3 with a BB and K. He's struggling, and the average is down to .266.
THE UGLY: Mike Morse. 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in the five-hole.
NEXT GAME: Tonight at 7:35 p.m. against Atlanta. Livan Hernandez (8-12, 5.48) faces Derek Lowe (15-9, 4.55).