The Washington Times - September 22, 2012, 11:49AM

Tyler Clippard’s ninth-inning implosion last night kept Edwin Jackson from picking up his 10th win of the season last night, but the Nationals will be hunting bigger game today.

Gio Gonzalez is on the mound against the Brewers seeking his 20th win. He would become the first pitcher for a D.C. team to reach that plateau since Bob Porterfield won 22 in 1953. He also is only four strikeouts away from another benchmark, as he enters the game sitting on 196 strikeouts. The last D.C. pitcher to fan at least that many was Walter Johnson (228 in 1916).


Gonzalez has had ample run support all season (6.3 runs per game) and he’ll have the Nats’ full lineup behind him. Manager Davey Johnson said he plans to keep the Nats’ regulars in there most days until the NL East title is locked up.

“I want all 25 getting in there, although I’m not going to be resting anybody until we wrap this division up,” Johnson said of his lineup plans. “I’ll be leaning on my regular lineup more than I would earlier.”

The Nats enter the day with a magic number of seven, with the Braves set to play in Philadelphia at 4:05 p.m.

Gonzalez will face a Brewers team with plenty to play for, now sitting just 1.5 games back of St. Louis for the final wild card spot. Milwaukee has loaded its lineup with right-handed hitters, leadoff man Norichika Aoki the only lefty, and will send 23-year-old Wily Peralta to the mound. The rookie shut out the Mets for eight innings, allowing only two hits, his last time out. 

The lineups:


Norichika Aoki RF

Rickie Weeks 2B

Ryan Braun LF

Aramis Ramirez 3B

Corey Hart 1B

Carlos Gomez CF

Martin Maldonado C

Jean Segura SS

Wily Peralta P


Jayson Werth RF

Bryce Harper CF

Ryan Zimmerman 3B

Adam LaRoche 1B

Michael Morse LF

Ian Desmond SS

Danny Espinosa 2B

Kurt Suzuki C

Gio Gonzalez P

Washington Nationals’ starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez relaxes in the dugout after pitching seven innings of shutout baseball against the Chicago Cubs during their baseball game at Nationals Park, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012, in Washington. Gonzalez won his eighteenth game of the season. (AP Photo/Richard Lipski)