The Nationals lost in twelve innings 5-to-3 but came back twice in this game. It was Matt Adams home run with one out in the 9th inning that tied the game and sent it to extra innings, and Howie Kendrick hit a double in the 11th inning when the Nats were down one run to tie the game again. The Braves had not one blown save in the game — but two blown saves. Unfortunately, the Nationals could not make a third comeback in the 12th inning when Ryan Madson gave up the final two runs in the game.
The main bench players really came through in this game as Wilmer Difo, Howie Kendrick, Matt Adams and Pedro Severino had big games. While Kendrick has been mostly a starter this season, he was re-signed to the team as bench depth and was thrust into the starting role when Daniel Murphy started the season on the DL.
A big point in this game was when Difo entered as a pinch-hitter in the 7th inning with two runners on base (Matt Adams on 2nd base), and Difo delivered a single to left field. On Difo’s hit, Nationals 3rd base coach Bob Henley sent the lead runner, Matt Adams, who could be seen on freeze-frame just touching 3rd base when left fielder Peter Bourjos gloved the ball in shallow left field, and Adams was easily gunned down at the plate. In this video, the Braves announcers called it “an easy catch and tag”.
Matt Adams would prove to be a central figure on this day as he hit the big 9th inning tying home run and went 1-for-3 with a walk and a HBP in this game.
“It felt good, and it was a big-time moment,” Adams said. “I’m the type of guy — I want to do whatever it is — whether it’s a [hit], a walk, get on base, keep the line moving. This team has got a lot of great guys on it. Just to keep the line moving is an important part. Like you guys saw today, we keep fighting until the end. It’s a good feeling for sure.”
This game started with a nice outing by A.J. Cole who only gave up only 2 runs in 5 1/3 innings and exited with a 2-to-1 deficit. The two runs were via solo home runs and neither was crushed. The story of the game was probably the 4 doubleplays the Nationals hit into.
All in all, the Nationals showed a lot of fight to the end. This all happened on a day with numerous roster moves in the morning’s pre-game as the Nationals officially placed Adam Eaton on the 10-day DL and parted ways with catcher Miguel Montero. The Nationals got back Matt Wieters from the DL, and replaced Eaton with minor league veteran Moises Sierra.
In the end, the Nationals won the series 2 games to 1 and their record went back to .500.
“Tough one,” Dave Martinez said. “The boys played well. In the end, we fell short. They battled all game long. A.J. Cole did well attacking the strike zone.”