Do you miss baseball? So do I. Lets relive the Washington Nationals‘ best moments of 2014 with this post. I included video embedded below. You may not be able to see them if you are reading this in an email, so make sure you visit MattsBats.com.
10. March 31: Extraordinary Opener
The Nationals started the season with promise. After Stephen Strasburg gave up 4 runs over six innings of work, the Nats rallied back and tied the game at 5 at the end of 9. In the tenth, the Nats scored four to eventually win the game, 9-7.
9. July 20:Walk-Off Winners
On July 20, the Nationals took on the Milwaukee Brewers. Going into the 9th, the Nationals had a 4-3 lead until Rickie Weeks singled in Logan Schafer to tie it. When Jayson Werth hit a ground ball down the line with Anthony Rendon on first, third base coach B0b Henley windmilled Rendon home, winning the game. Henley saw left fielder Khris Davis double-pump before throwing the ball in, and it gave Henley the idea to send him home.
8. September 3: Astounding Adam
September 3rd was a very interesting baseball game. There were no runs scored until the 7th inning, when utility guy Dodgers Justin Turner demolished a pitch to center field. Adam LaRoche, who was sitting out the game because he was sick and injured, came in to pinch hit in the 9th, and actually drove a Kenley Jansen pitch over the left field wall and slowly trot around the bases. He had tied the game. Denard Span singled in a run to make it a 3-2 game, and in the 9th, with a chance to win it, Jayson Werth missed to catch Justin Turner’s fly ball that would have ended the game to score a run. In the 10th, Craig Stammen and Aaron Barrett split to leave the bases loaded, same with Jerry Blevins in the 11th. LaRoche singled in two in the 12th, after being hit in the 11th, and the win was taken away when Carl Crawford homered to tie it later that inning. Rochy got his fifth RBI when he drove in a run on a force out, only to be followed by another Asdrubal Cabrera clout. Blake Treinen closed it out in the 14th, to end a crazed day for everyone.
7. June 24/25: Sweet Sixteen
I hope that you went to bed early on June 23. The next day, blanks filled the Miller Park scoreboard in a game that took two days to complete. Jayson Werth got the first run scored in the 1st, surprisingly, and only until the 5th was another run scored. Ryan Braun singled in two to be (eventually) the last runs Milwaukee scored. Anthony Rendon proved himself clutch in the 8th, with a home run that tied the game at 2. We then waited a day to see the outcome. Ryan Zimmerman finally took a Mike Fiers pitch and homered into left field. That took care of the drowsy Brewers, who wasted five hours to see their team lose.
6. October 4: Phenomenal Postseason Pitching
On October 4, the Nationals came off a loss to the Giants in Game 1 of the NLDS. They took a lead early, making it 1-0 for most of the game. But the spotlight of that game was Jordan Zimmermann. Coming off his no-hitter on September 28, Zimmermann hadn’t missed a beat in the game. Jordan had enough to go the distance, until Matt Williams pulled Zim after 8 2/3 innings of work, and Drew Storen gave up a RBI single to Pablo Sandoval and the rest, they say, is history. The Nats lost the game in 18 innings, the longest post-season game in history. This is also the only Nationals loss to make my Top 10 list.
5. April 9/10: Double Trouble
On April 9 and 10, the Nationals played the Miami Marlins. And when they needed it, both Jayson Werth and Ian Desmond came up big. They both hit a grand slam to help the Nats win. On the 9th, Jayson homered to help the Nats come from behind against the fish, and Ian added insurance to take it from a 2-run game to a 6-run game.
4. August 24: Comeback Columbidae
A wild win for the Nats against the Giants on August 24th because of the Rally Pigeon. Ian Desmond, Danny Espinosa, and Bryce Harper all hit home runs to help the Nats. The Rally Pigeon stood on the field to help the Nationals win. The Nationals came back in the 6th from an early deficit. Columbidae is the species of bird pigeons come from. Thanks to my 7-year old brother for helping my write this one!
3. August 12-August 21: Double-Digit Doozy
From August 12 to August 21, the Nationals went on a tear, beating the Mets, Pirates, and Diamondbacks. It all added up to three sweeps and one 10-game win streak– tied for the longest streak in Nationals history. The Nats had walk-offs galore to help them take ten, highlighted by Jordan Pacheco’s error in the last game against the Diamondbacks.
2. September 16: Clincher Climax
September 16. One year before, the Nats were set to play the Braves until the Navy Yard shooting incident occurred. The game was canceled, and there was a doubleheader the next day. A year later, in 2014, the Nats were in Atlanta this time, on the verge of clinching the National League East division title. Ian Desmond absolutely teed off Aaron Harang in the 6th, to give the Nats a 2-0 lead. In the 9th, Nats now leading 3-0, Drew Storen got Justin Upton to ground out to Asdrubal Cabrera and the Nats were NL East winners.
1. September 28: A Fantastic Finish
If this isn’t number 1, what is? At the beginning of play on September 28, F.P. Santangelo said that he would like the Nats to be 96-66 rather than 95-67 because it is easy to remember. Not only is it easy to remember, but starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann did more than that. In the 2nd inning, Ian Desmond unloaded for his last regular season home run. Zimmermann had a perfect game through the 5th, until 1st baseman Justin Bour walked. Zimmermann also surrendered a dropped third strike baserunner, until Wilson Ramos picked him off. In the 9th, Steven Souza made an unbelievable catch to finish off a no-hitter by Zimmermann, first in the Nationals history and the first in the Nationals/Expos franchise since 1981.
Have any other memorable moments? Tweet them to me @MattsBats!