#Nats take the series opener in 11 inning thriller in NY!

Photo by Kevin Nibley for TalkNats — Happy Handshakes after a Shawn Kelley save!

The Nats’ bullpen had to cover 4 1/3 innings tonight into an 11 inning game that the Washington Nationals won by a final score of 4-3 over their division rival NY Mets. This is the Nats 5th win in a row to improve to 11-5.

The pitching star was Oliver Perez tonight as he entered the game with bases loaded and had the tall task of pitching to Jay Bruce and Ollie won the battle. Perez came out for the next inning and struck out 2 of the 3 batters he faced. Joe Blanton pitched a scoreless 9th inning and had to pitch around his lead-off walk. Enny Romero got three key outs in the 10th, and Shawn Kelley earned his 3rd save of the season.

Tonight’s starter, Tanner Roark, threw a solid 6 2/3 innings when he did not have his best stuff. He was bit by the longball giving up 2 home runs and 3 runs total in the game.

Once again, Bryce Harper was the star of the game for the offense. The former MVP hit his 7th home run of the season for a 2-run tally and scored the winning run in the 11th inning after doubling off Josh Smoker and Harper scored on a bases loaded walk by pinch-hitter Trea Turner. Jose Lobaton hit a booming home run himself for his first hit of the season.

The game opened with an ominous tone as the 2nd batter of the game Wilmer Difo got a beanball on the ear hole of his batting helmet on a heater from Matt Harvey. Difo stayed in the game and played more solid defense at shortstop.

The Nationals only accumulated 5 hits but had 6 key walks along with the HBP. In the end, it was the bases loaded walk from Jeurys Familia that sunk the Mets.

The key play of the game was the wild pitch sprint to 3rd by Bryce Harper in the 11th inning. Check out the video:

The rumors that Asdrubal Cabrera, Travis d’Arnaud, and Yoenis Cespedes would not play turned out to be two-thirds bull as Cabrera and d’Arnaud did indeed appear as pinch-hitters.

The Nats have to turn around for a 4:05pm game on Saturday with Gio Gonzalez on the mound.

Here are some excerpts from Dusty Baker tonight:

“Keep on keeping on. Just keep it coming. The main thing is we won the game. You gotta want it. This is what championship ball is all about. Determination and just keep grinding and keep grinding and keep grinding.”

Tell us how you really feel Dusty Baker!

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