Another Disney ending to a Nats win on a Daniel Murphy walk-off! These endings defy believability and that is what makes sports so incredible. Max Scherzer was charged with 4-runs and the Nats were in a 4-1 hole in the 9th inning. It was the Braves bullpen that imploded after a 3-run blown save 9th inning by the Braves closer Jim Johnson to move the game tied 4-4 into the 10th inning. Matt Grace put on 2 runners in the 10th inning and was rescued by Matt Albers who induced a Matt Kemp doubleplay ball to end the 10th tied 4-4.
“What stands out was the key doubleplay that Albers did on Kemp,” Dusty Baker said.
Rookie call-up Adrian Sanchez scored the winning run after he got his first career hit to start the 10th inning. Ryan Zimmerman moved Sanchez to 3rd base with a single and Daniel Murphy crushed the winning walk-off hit over the leftfielder’s head.
That was the Nationals 7th walk-off win to tie with the Angels for the most in the Majors.
“That was a big win for us just as far as kind of stopping a little bit of momentum for them,” Ryan Zimmerman said. “We’re pretty banged up and tired right now to be honest with you and I know everybody is and that’s not an excuse but that is a huge win for us.”
One of the banged up players is Matt Wieters, who at times has looked like he has nothing left in his legs, entered this game batting .237, but he showed he still has some magic left in his bat as he knocked in the first run of the game on a single and then tied the game in the 9th on a sacrifice fly on a curveball against a sinkerball pitcher who was searching for a doubleplay ball. Ryan Zimmerman has been scuffling himself lately and put together a key walk in the 9th inning and that single in the 10th to push the winning run to 3rd base.
It’s the small things sometimes like Chris Heisey legging out what looked like a tailor-made doubleplay ball in the 9th inning and beating the relay throw to 1st base. It is also the small things like adjusting from R.A. Dickey’s knuckleball that ranged from a speed of 68 mph to his maximum knuckleball velo at 83.5 mph to Jose Ramirez who was darting fastballs with a max velo at 99.1 mph.
The walk-off hero Daniel Murphy usually never talks about himself, but on this day he gave some insight into his strategy.
“I like to hit the ball in the air,” Daniel Murphy said. “So that’s the situation right there.”
All Murphy needed for a game-winner was a ball in the air for a sacrifice fly, and Murphy got the bonus program as he hit it over Matt Kemp’s head in the opposite field for the walk-off hit, and rookie call-up Adrian Sanchez was able to jog home for the final run of the game as teammates descended on Murphy for the celebration.