Looking to help them capture their second straight NL East crown, Moyer will find himself in the same position on Saturday when the Phillies continue their final regular-season series with the Nationals.
Philadelphia’s magic number is down to one after beating Washington 8-4 on Friday, combined with the Mets’ 6-1 loss to Florida. With a win or Mets loss on Saturday, the Phillies (90-70) would be back-to-back division title winners for the first time since taking three in a row from 1976-78.
“We knew what needed to be done and took care of our own business,” said Ryan Howard, who hit his major league-leading 48th homer. “We have everything in our own hands right now.”
The Phillies also reached 90 wins for the 12th time in the franchise’s 126-year history, but first since winning 97 games in 1993. They are 10-6 against Washington this season.
“I like our position,” manager Charlie Manuel said. “I’ll like it better when we’re up two with one to play. That’s when I’ll drink champagne, dance and sing.”
For that to happen, Moyer (15-7, 3.78 ERA) would need to win his sixth straight decision. The 45-year-old left-hander pitched 5 1-3 innings against Washington on the final day of the 2007 regular season to help the Phillies clinch.
Moyer is 2-0 with a 2.82 ERA in four starts against Washington this season. He has not lost to them since April 1991 while pitching for St. Louis, and is 10-4 with a 2.94 ERA in 21 career starts versus the Nationals franchise.
On Sunday, Moyer went six innings and allowed one run and six hits in a 5-2 win over Florida. The Phillies are 21-11 when Moyer starts this season.
Friday loss was the Nationals’ seventh in their last eight games and marked the first time the franchise lost 100 games since 1976, when the Montreal Expos dropped 107.
“A loss is a loss to me,” Nationals manager Manny Acta said. “Once you lose over 90, it’s one too many.”
Washington’s starting rotation is 1-6 with a 9.62 ERA in its last eight games. After Tim Redding lasted only 2 2-3 innings in Wednesday’s 9-4 loss to Florida, Collin Balester pitched 1 2-3 innings on Friday and allowed seven runs and seven hits.
The Nationals (59-100) hand the ball on Saturday to John Lannan (9-14, 3.86), who will try to tie Redding for the team lead in wins.
The left-hander pitched seven innings against San Diego last Saturday, allowing four runs - one earned - and four hits in a 6-1 loss.
Lannan is 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA in three starts against the Phillies. Both losses have come this season.