Though the Nats were shut out by the Phillies, 2-0, the Braves' 2-1 loss to the Pirates sealed both teams' fates. Now, with two days left in the regular season, the attention turns toward postseason seeding and potential first-round matchups.
The final two days will decide the NL's No. 1 seed. The Nationals, who enter Tuesday tied with the Reds at 96-64, will send Tom Gorzelanny, starting in place of Gio Gonzalez, to face an array of Philadelphia relievers.
Though they are out of playoff contention for the first time since 2006, the Phillies have a chance at finishing with a winning record for a 10th consecutive season. After clinching a non-losing season with Monday's victory, they only need to take one of the final two games to reach 82 wins.
Tyler Cloyd has been slated to start on Tuesday night but was shut down a couple of days ago with a fatigued arm. So the Phillies will pitch a bullpen game, with rookie right-hander B.J. Rosenberg getting things started. The contract of right-hander Tyson Brummett was purchased on Sunday to bolster the relief corps in preparation for the game.
Gonzalez, the Major Leagues' only 21-game winner, was to go for No. 22, but instead will rest for the upcoming Division Series. The left-handed Gorzellany, primarily a starter in his first seven big league seasons, will be making his first start of the year. He has a 2.90 ERA in 44 relief appearances.
"We're all feeling the vibe, we're all having fun," Gonzalez said before Monday's game. "It's been like this all year, and nothing's changed. We're going out there to play the same game. It just feels like day one of April. Back to what we started, back to the drawing board."
Phillies: Rollins out with calf injury
Jimmy Rollins sat out Monday's game because of an injured right calf, and his status for the final two games is uncertain.
Rollins, who is hitting .250 with a team-leading 23 home runs and 68 RBIs, had missed only three games before Monday, and those were to attend the birth of his daughter in May.
The three-time All-Star shortstop texted Scott Sheridan, the team's head athletic trainer, at 12:30 a.m. on Monday to alert him that the calf was bothering him.
"Even if we were playoff-bound, it was something where I'd have to send him a text, probably with more urgency," Rollins said. "So if I get a day off here, or take two and see what's it's like on the third day, then let's do that. ... It's precautionary at the moment."
Kyle Kendrick tied his career high with his 11th win of the season on Monday. The right-hander finished a great second half by throwing seven shutout innings, lowering his ERA to 3.90.
Nationals: Robinson to throw out first pitch
The Nationals have invited Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, their first manager after the move from Montreal, to throw out a ceremonial first pitch before one of their Division Series games. Which game has not been determined, according to Robinson, who managed the Expos/Nationals from 2002 to 2006.
"If they firm it up, I will [throw out the first pitch]," he told MLB.com via telephone on Monday. "It's an honor for me. I appreciate them reaching out to me and asking me to do that. ... I feel very honored and gracious."
Bryce Harper's 22 home runs are the second-most by a teenager in Major League history. Tony Conigliaro holds the record, with 24.
With one more RBI, Adam LaRoche will become just the third Nationals player to drive in 100 in a season. Ryan Zimmerman accomplished the feat in 2006 and 2009, and former National Adam Dunn recorded 100 during the 2009 and 2010 seasons.
Philadelphia's Darin Ruf has at least one hit in each of his seven Major League starts. Ruf, a September callup from Double-A Reading, tripled home both runs of Monday's 2-0 win.
Washington's Kurt Suzuki started at catcher for the 10th straight game on Monday.