Jayson Werth's walkoff homer gave the Nationals a 2-1 win over the Cardinals today and extended their NLDS series to a deciding fifth game tomorrow. Gio Gonzalez will start Game Five against Adam Wainwright and the Cards, with the winning team advancing to face the Giants in the NLCS. Here's the latest from Washington and elsewhere in the NL East...
- Nationals GM Mike Rizzo had some choice words for unnamed executives who were said to be rooting against the Nats due to the Stephen Strasburg controversy, reports CBS Sports' Jon Heyman. Rizzo again defended his decision to shut Strasburg down, also noting that the anonymous criticisms were "not how we do things in my neighborhood.''
- Davey Johnson joked that he could "pull a La Russa" and retire if the Nationals win the World Series, reports Heyman, though the manager is expected to return next season and Rizzo wants him back.
- Given the unpredictable nature of relief pitching, the Phillies' problematic bullpen could be turned around quickly, writes David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News. With Jonathan Papelbon's salary leaving little room for another pricey relief arm, Murphy suggests the Phils could explore a trade or target such lower-priced relievers as Koji Uehara, Luis Ayala, Jeremy Affeldt or Joel Peralta. Brandon Lyon could also be a Phillies target, as Murphy says the club was interested in the veteran righty three years ago before Lyon signed with Houston.
- Also on the topic of the Phillies' bullpen, Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News thinks a reunion with Ryan Madson would make sense, as Madson could be signed to an inexpensive deal as he looks to rebound and rebuild his value following Tommy John surgery.
- David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution outlines what he would do with the Braves this winter, a list that includes extending Martin Prado and installing him at third base, trading for Josh Willingham or signing a free agent outfielder like Nick Swisher or Cody Ross, picking up Brian McCann's option and letting Michael Bourn in favor of signing a cheaper center field option in Angel Pagan.