PHILADELPHIA -- Jordan Zimmermann and a pair of defensive gems were enough to keep Washingtons post-season hopes flickering. Miami Marlins Store . Zimmermann became the National Leagues first 16-game winner, pitching seven solid innings to lead the Washington Nationals past the Philadelphia Phillies 3-2 Wednesday night. Zimmermann (16-8) struck out five, walked one and allowed two runs in winning his fourth straight start. Ryan Zimmermans solo shot off Phillies reliever Zach Miner in the seventh inning tied the game at 2. Jake Diekman (1-4) walked the leadoff batter in the eighth, then allowed pinch-runner Jeff Kobernus to score on a fielders choice for the winning run. The Nationals sat outfielder Bryce Harper to rest his ailing hip. They are still barely alive behind Cincinnati for the second wild-card spot "We dont think were out of it yet," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. The Phillies wasted a chance to tie the game in the eighth with runners on first and third and one out. Craig Stammen struck out Darin Ruf and the ball scooted away from catcher Jhonatan Solano on strike three. Chase Utley was tagged out on a mad dash for home by a lunging Solano for the strike em out-tag em out double play. "It was a great play. Thats how we won the game," Stammen said. Zimmermann got out of his own jam in the seventh thanks to a fantastic defensive play. Cesar Hernandez hit a grounder into the hole that second baseman Steve Lombardozzi fielded and one-hopped to Zimmerman at the bag for the third out to prevent the tying run from scoring. "I knew I had to scoop it and keep my feet on the bag at the same time," the pitcher said. Rafael Soriano worked the ninth for his 38th save. Phillies starter Roy Halladay survived a miserable first inning to end up allowing three hits over six innings. Four months after right shoulder surgery, this certainly wasnt vintage Halladay. He walked five and hit two batters. He laboured through a 29-pitch first inning. But the two-time Cy Young Award winner struck out five after fanning four combined in his last two starts. He settled down after he hit or walked five of the first 10 batters he faced. And he kept the Phillies in the game. "It took me a little bit to find the right balance, mechanically," Halladay said. "Thats going to be a little bit of a battle at times." Labouring to hit 90 mph with his fastball, Halladay allowed the first three batters of the game to reach, then gave up a sacrifice fly. Wilson Ramos hit into a double play to end the rally and keep Halladay in the game. He caught another break in the sixth. After retiring the first two batters, Halladay loaded the bases with two outs. Johnson decided to leave Zimmermann in the game, instead of pinch-hitting for his starter after 77 pitches. Zimmermann was retired and Halladay walked off to an ovation. "I was feeling sorry for him the first couple of innings," Johnson said. "Then I started to hate him as he went along." Halladay left with a 2-1 lead thanks to Hernandezs two-run double in the second inning. "His innings got better with the lead," Phillies interim manager Ryne Sandberg said. "The Nationals at-bats started to change a little bit." Clearly struggling with his velocity, Halladay went with the soft stuff for most of his final four innings, and had the most effective of his three outings since returning from a rehab assignment. He is a free agent at the end of the season and wants to prove to the Phillies, or any team, that he can still be a reliable starter. Hell have three or four more starts in the final month to prove he can come close to his former All-Star form. "I think if put in the work and put in the time, I can have those results," he said. NOTES: The Nationals will start RHP Tanner Roark on Saturday against Miami, meaning RHP Stephen Strasburg will likely go Sunday on six days rest. Roark had been pitching in long relief. ... Halladay made his 100th start for the Phillies. ... Denard Spans leadoff single extended his hitting streak to 17 games, the longest for the Nationals this season. Moises Alou Jersey .com) - Baltimore Ravens running back Justin Forsett is active for Sundays matchup with the Miami Dolphins. Henderson Alvarez Jersey .Hammel pitched inside more and it helped him get into the seventh inning as the Colorado Rockies beat the San Diego Padres 3-2 on Friday night.Canada has won their fourth medal of the Sochi Games, a silver in the figure skating team event. Kevin Reynolds started the second day of the team event finishing second in the mens free skate before Kaetlyn Osmondd finished fifth in the ladies free skate. Al Leiter Jersey. With the team guaranteed to finish second, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir wrapped up the event finishing second in pairs. More details to follow. ' ' '
CHARLOTTE, N. Miami Marlins Gear .C. -- Carl Edwards said NASCAR is taking the wrong approach in its effort to draw more fans to the race track. If NASCAR really wants to create better competition and higher interest in the sport, Edwards said it needs to focus on changing the setup of the cars and not the championship format. NASCAR will announce its Chase for the Sprint Cup championship format on Thursday. It is expected to be to a 16-driver field whittled down through eliminations to four drivers and a winner-take-all season finale; it would be the fourth significant change to either the points or championship format since the Chase debuted in 2004. Edwards said drivers are already doing everything they can to win and the proposed changes that NASCAR chairman Brian France laid out two weeks ago wont change that. "I dont think you can take the top 15 guys in this sport and make them race any harder for wins. I dont think you can," Edwards said Tuesday. Its a sentiment shared by 2012 champion Brad Keselowski, who initially showed public support of the new format but is now reserving judgment until he sees exactly what NASCAR wants to do. France has been adamant he wants drivers to race at 100 per cent at all times and to value winning, and he preached most of last season that the frantic, door-banging battle to the checkered flag at California between Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano is the kind of racing he wants to see. "From a drivers perspective, theres nothing left," Keselowski said Wednesday. "Theres no set of rules to make me race harder than I do." Keselowski passed on a chance to move Kyle Busch out of the lead at Watkins Glen last August in what could have been a last-ditch effort to win the race. That victory would have likely ensured Keselowski a spot in the Chase; instead, he failed to qualify and was unable to defend his championship. Keselowski also doesnt think any changes will hurt six-time champion Jimmie Johnson. "No matter what format you put out there, hes the favourite," Keselowski said. "Until thats not the case, I dont see how theres any format that could be wrote, unless its the slowest guy wins, and I dont think theyre going to do that." Edwards said taking away the downforce on cars and making the tires softer is a good place to start. He said it would go a long way toward increasing competitive racing at the front of the pack. "No matter what format we race under I cant just try harder and go up and race with the guy or pass him," Edwards said. "I think the thing we have to focus on as a sport is making sure the cars can race one another. ... Right now, if Im staring at the guy in the front window it doesnt matter if (Im racing) for a billion dollars and 10 championships -- if I cant catch him, I cant catch him." Its not necessarily that Edwards is against the format. But he said if Frances proposals -- with the emphasis on winning races to get into the Chase for the Championship -- come to fruition, it will change the way drivers approach the season. "Things will get really, really interesting around Richmond. That will be insane," Edwards said. Dale Earnhardt Jr. said he wasnt excited about the proposed changes at first, but has begun to warm to the idea. "Lets change it all. Im all for it," Earnhardt said. "A lot of times we change things for the fans, and I think the drivers are going to enjoy some of this stuff as much as the fans are." Team owner Richard Petty said proposed changes are a "PR deal" by NASCAR designed to drum up more interest in the sport. He still thinks the best drivers will come out on top regardless of the format. "They just want to shake things up," Petty said. NASCAR is essentially borrowing a page from other major sports such as the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball where teams -- or in this case, drivers -- are eliminated from playoff contention while the season climaxes with one championship event at the end of the year. Earnhardt Jr. called it a "bold, aggressive" move by NASCAR. "When you look at other forms of sport, theres an elimination factor in the playoffs that we dont have," Earnhardt said. "We, as drivers, dont feel the intensity of an elimination factor being over our shoulders every race. I feel like weve had it easy in that regard where we just tally up points. Coming down to Homestead with four guys (racing for the championship), thats crazy -- but its exciting." However, driver Ryan Newman doesnt necessarily agree with the elimination-style system. "I dont think we can take everything the NFL or NBA is doing and say, We need to do it like this because theyre doing it like that and its working," Newman said. "This is still stock car racing. This is NASCAR. A certain per cent of change is good, but we do not need to copy the playoff system." Adam Conley Jersey . -- Michael Bennett gambled last off-season that playing on a one-year deal in Seattle would pay off in the future with the long-term contract he always wanted. Brian Anderson Jersey . 1-9 on TSN. With more than 65 hours of exclusive live coverage, TSN delivers all the action beginning with Draw 1 on Saturday, Feb. 1 at 2 p.EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Top choice Odell Beckham Jr., and three other draft picks have signed with the New York Giants on Monday. That leaves only one unsigned player for the Giants from this months selections, defensive tackle Jay Bromley, taken in the third round. In addition to Beckham, a wide receiver drafted 12th overall, centre Weston Richburg (second round), linebacker Devon Kennard (fifth round) and cornerback Bennett Jackson (sixth round) signed with the team Monday. Beckham joins another LSU receiver, Rueben Randle, in New Yorks passing attack, which lost veteran Hakeem Nicks in free agency. Beckham set an LSU record with 2,315 all-purpose yards in 22013, completing his career with 15 touchdowns and 4,118 all-purpose yards, which ranks No. Jordan Holloway Jersey . 5 in school history. "He has great speed. Hes polished. He has great hands and played at the top level." Giants coach Tom Coughlin said when the team drafted Beckham. "Hes someone we could count on putting the ball in the end zone and we can also feature him in the kicking game as well." Richburg was a four-year starter at Colorado State who made 50 consecutive starts, a school record. He was first-team All-Mountain West in 2013. On Friday, the Giants signed fourth-round running back Andre Williams and fifth-round safety Nat Berhe. ' ' '