The Philadelphia Phillies opened their final series of the season trying to play spoiler in Washington. They did their part, as Kyle Kendrick was dazzling yet again, pacing the Phils to a 2-0 shutout win. But the Pirates defeated the Braves, 2-1, in Pittsburgh to secure an NL East crown and celebration in Washington.
The Nationals learned of the Braves' loss as they came off the field in the middle of the ninth. The news on the scoreboard at Nationals Park sparked an impromptu celebration in the Washington dugout, as players congratulated each other and manager Davey Johnson. But there were still three outs left in the game, and Charlie Manuel sent Phillippe Aumont out to the mound to finish off the shutout. And Aumont delivered, going 1-2-3 to end the game, but also start the Washington champagne celebration.
Kendrick has been one of Philadelphia's steadiest starters since the beginning of August, and he finished his season with a dominating start against the NL East champs. He gave up just four hits and walked no one on his way to seven scoreless innings. He struck out four, and the only time the Nats really threatened was in the second inning when they had back-to-back singles. Justin De Fratus would get into a bit of jam in the eighth, but he and Jeremy Horst got out of the inning unscathed.
On the other side, an early two-run triple by Darin Ruf produced the only offense of the night. Ruf ripped a John Lannan offering to deep left, scoring Carlos Ruiz and Domonic Brown. The rookie slugger, who's seen increased playing time over the final two weeks, smacked his first career homer just last week against the Nats. His triple in the second on Monday would prove to be the difference.