Monday, July 21, 2014

Sunday at Nats' Park

Yes it was another bobblehead day. I’m four for four so far. And I’m going to the game where they’ll be giving out the one for Ian Desmond.

But on to the game. Gio Gonzalez was the starting picture but just didn’t have it all together. He got out of several jams but in the top of the fourth down 2-1 his day ended.

One of my favorite pitchers Craig Stammen came in to bail out Gio:

With the Nationals trailing by a run in the fourth inning Sunday, Stammen was summoned from the bullpen just behind the right field wall at Nationals Park. Starter Gio Gonzalez struggled with his command against the Milwaukee Brewers and was pulled after 31 / 3 innings.

Stammen didn’t have any qualms with being inserted into the game so early. It was the second time in his last three relief appearances that he was called upon in the fourth inning.

“There’s a reason I go down there in the first inning,” Stammen said. “You always prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Gio’s been pitching really well, but today his pitch count got up there so I try to back him up as much as I can because he’s helped our team out a bunch.”

Stammen mixed a late-moving two-seam fastball with a slider to retire the eight batters he faced. He recorded two strikeouts on just 29 pitches (20 strikes) in 22 / 3 scoreless innings.

But just as important at his pitching was Stammen’s at bat in the 4th. To set the stage Adam LaRoche walked and then Ryan Zimmerman hit a home run which tied the score. Bryce Harper and Ian Desmond were the next two batters and the next two out. Jose Lobaton then double. Next up is Stammen. Stammen’ gets an infield hit which allowed Lobaton to advance to third. On a wild pitch Lobaton is able to score. That gives the Nats the lead. Yeah.

The next couple of innings both teams get guys on base some even in scoring position but no one scores. It’s the top of the 9th in comes Rafael Soriano. I have great adminration for Soriano. But (and you knew that was coming) he allows too many guys to get on base. The vast majority of the time he gets out of the situaiton. But that was not to be the case today. He allowed a run in and the score was tied 4-4.

Suddenly a nail biter became even more of a nail biter. Would the Nats be able to score a run or was it off to extra innings. With two outs and Anthony Rendon on fist base up comes Jayson Werth:

As soon as the ball flew off Jayson Werth’s bat with two outs in the ninth inning Sunday at Nationals Park, Anthony Rendon turned and took off from first base.

The ball rolled into the left field corner, and Rendon wasn’t stopping after he rounded second. The right arm of third base coach Bobby Henley spun like a windmill. And once Rendon ran through home plate to secure the Nationals’ 5-4 walk-off win over the Milwaukee Brewers, Werth pumped his fist around second base and ran toward his teammates.

A very exciting ending to a very exciting and close faught game. Rendon and Harper both made plays that were outs that could have easily lead to runs. It was fun to be back in the park.

Ryan Zimmerman crosses the plate after his two run home run

Teddy and Abe greeting the crowd

Jayson Werth is mobbed by his team mates after his double to win the game.

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