This game ends on a grand slam Walkoff by Howie Kendrick in the 11th inning! He hit it far and deep, and it was a no-doubter game winner — the only question was whether it would clear the outfield fence. With Daniel Murphy standing on 3rd base, he was going to score with the outfield playing shallow as Kendrick’s blast was certainly over the outfielder’s heads.
This was also the first grand slam of Howie Kendrick‘s long career, and he certainly has made an impact with his new team with a little over 2 weeks of tenure with the Nats.
The Nationals scored all of their runs via the home run with solo home runs by Daniel Murphy and Ryan Zimmerman and of course the grand slam by Howie Kendrick. The 11th inning rally started with a Murphy single followed by a Zimmerman bloop single on which Murphy read it and scampered to 3rd base forcing Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy to intentionally walk the bases loaded with Anthony Rendon and pitch to Howie Kendrick with no outs. Kendrick worked the count with Giants reliever Albert Suarez to a 2-2 count before he crushed the game winning walk-off grand slam.
Max Scherzer was the starter in the game and when he had a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the 6th inning you had to wonder if Dusty Baker would go to “The Firm” to close out the 7th, 8th, and 9th. As it turned out, Scherzer came out for the 7th inning and gave up a game tying home run to Pablo Sandoval. Brandon Kintzler did come out for the 8th inning and held the score as did Sean Doolittle for the 9th inning. Matt Albers who earned the win pitched a scoreless 10th and 11th innings.
One of the biggest plays of the game happened on defense in the 4th inning when Michael Taylor, who was just activated off of the DL today, threw out Joe Panik at the plate on a rope. Video here. It was bang-bang as catcher Matt Wieters slapped the tag on Panik’s head as he was sliding to the homeplate. If that play and others weren’t made, the score could have been much different.
The Nationals win 6-2 and take the season series and this series from the San Francisco Giants. With the rainout on Friday night and the rain delayed game on Saturday night that did not start until 10:06pm and finished up a 1:17AM Sunday morning, the Nationals and Giants played 29 innings in a a span of 24 hours and 28 minutes.
“You want to come through, and today I was that guy,” Howie Kendrick said. “It was pretty cool, I’m not going to lie. When I hit it, I just thought it was just going to go into the gap and I was just running hard, excited because I knew we were going to win the game. To actually have it go out of the park, to me that was probably one of the best moments of my career.”