The Nats pitching just shutdown the Cardinals team and held them to 1 run as this same Cards team just bashed around Jake Arrieta yesterday and scored 8 runs off of the Cubs.
Joe Ross made some clutch pitches when he had to and worked out of a huge jam in the top of the 7th with 2 on and no outs and struck out Yadier Molina. In strange coincidences the Cardinals had this exact scenario in yesterday’s game against the Cubs with men on 2nd and 1st and no outs and Yadier Molina at the plate and he struck out.
Bryce Harper hit a 3rd deck missile for his 12th HR of the season to tie the game and in the bottom of the 7th Danny Espinosa swung at the 1st pitch and hit a laser into the 2nd deck for the game-winning run! Anthony Rendon had 2 hits tonight, and Wilson Ramos had a single and Stephen Drew had one. Clint Robinson got another pinch-hit single as the Nats ended with 7 hits on the night and Joe Ross and the Nats relievers held the Cards to 6 hits.
Jonathan Papelbon made quick work of the Cardinals in the 9th for his 13th save as Rivero got his 9th Hold and Joe Ross improved to 4-4. More importantly, the Nats improved to 29-19 and Dusty Baker earns his 1,700th win as a manager which is rarefied air. Dusty made a nice postgame tribute to the man who got him into managing, Al Rosen, who once told Dusty, “Managers are made to be fired” and Dusty wished he was wrong about that.
In 1993, Dusty Baker in his 1st game as a manager beat Joe Torre‘s St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in 2 hours and 23 minutes. Back in 1993, the games seemed to go quicker as this game tonight took 4 minutes longer for Dusty to savor a milestone victory. The first RBI tonight was from Bryce Harper who said he owes much of his success to Matt Williams who got the first RBI in Dusty’s 1st win. One error in Baker’s 1st win was by his shortstop Royce Clayton and the one error tonight was by Baker’s shortstop Danny Espinosa. Dusty’s 3rd baseman Matt Williams had 2 hits just like 3rd baseman Anthony Rendon tonight. Dusty’s starters in both his 1st win (John Burkett) and tonight’s winning pitcher (Joe Ross) gave up 6 hits, 1 run, and 1 walk to the Cardinals and both pitchers last official inning was a tie game as their wins were earned when their offense scored the 2nd run of the game which was the game winning run in the next 1/2 inning. Both pitchers that got the saves in Dusty’s 1st win (Rod Beck) and tonight’s win (Jonathan Papelbon) threw 8 pitches of which 6 were strikes in a 1-2-3 9th inning and the last out was received by the 1st basemen in both games. Both Beck and Papelbon pitched for the Red Sox and each had a year for the Red Sox where they won 3 games while recording 0 saves. Beck’s final year in the Majors was followed by Papelbon’s 1st year in the Majors.
In both of Dusty’s 1st win and 1,700th win, the leadoff man for the Cardinals singled into the outfield and both were erased by a middle infield doubleplay.
The man who was rumored to take the 2016 managerial job was Bud Black who was a pitcher for that 1993 San Francisco Giants team for Dusty Baker. Black didn’t get to start Opening Day but in his first start, it was also against the Cardinals where he gave up 1 run in a 2-1 game.
In a pre-game ceremony, Dusty Baker gave 107-year-old Virginia McLaurin a Nats jersey with her age on it 107. Those exact digits 1-7-0 were the same as Dusty’s 1-7-0-0 win total to end the game.
These similarities that keep these games intertwined will continue into the future. There is bound to be more!