Click here to watch Nats win #6 on MASN via MLB.TV at 6:30 pm tonight with the rest of us. Just a quick reminder of what we are doing if this is your first time: As a group, we are going to be re-watching all 105 wins from the Nats 2019 season in chronological order at 6:30 pm each night. We will all try to sync up to the same point in the game, and this is a work in progress to maneuver to the same point in the game. Feel free to ask in the comments section where everyone is in the game so you can sync up. Last night, many people joined in at different points, and we all got to enjoy it.
The MLB.TV library is unlocked and free to everyone for the 2018-2019 season courtesy of MLB. This win #6 is in the 11th game in the season, and the Nats took a 5-5 record into this game with a chance to move above .500 with a Curly W!
Win #5 was one of those nights in baseball that proves that it is never over until it’s over. At one point, the Nationals were behind by five runs and then they chipped away to a point that they were trailing by one run in the 9th inning with two outs. Victor Robles and his team were down to their last strike when the rookie struck gold with his bat emblazoned with the gold “©” produced in Philadelphia (Norristown) by Chandler Bats, and that 32 ounce bat smashed that 5 ¼ ounce Rawlings baseball 394 feet at 102 mph and in turn tied the game at the time to make it possible for the Nats to win it in the 10th inning on a Juan Soto 3-run blast over the rightfield foul pole.
Before that game, our in-game article was entitled “Heavyweights on the mound” but it was the Light-Heavyweight (Robles at 190 pounds) and the Heavyweight (Soto at 220 pounds) along with the bullpen arms that were the difference makers. Neither starter, Stephen Strasburg or Aaron Nola factored into that final decision. If the Nats lost that game which looked near-certain by the time Robles entered the batter’s box with 2 outs, they would have fallen to a 4-and-6 record, but the Nats won that “Thrilla in Phila” and got back to 5-and-5 going into today’s game.
After this game, there was a scheduled day-off, we pondered at the time how manager Dave Martinez would use his bullpen with Joe Ross, “Everyday” Matt Grace and Sean Doolittle all most likely not available after pitching in multiple innings the game before. The Nats available bullpen pitchers most likely would be Justin Miller, Wander Suero, Tony Sipp, Kyle Barraclough and Trevor Rosenthal. When the score was 6-to-1 in the 4th inning of that 5th win, how many people thought that Rosenthal would have been inserted for mop-up duty? Instead, the Nats’ manager was not ready to risk further damage, and that allowed the Nats to claw back into that game as Ross and Grace both logged 2 innings each of shutout baseball which continued for 2 additional innings of zeroes allowing the offense to do a rope-a-dope, and with a pitcher’s chance delivered a knockdown from the 21-year-old rookie Robles, and the knockout punch from the 20-year-old Soto.
Washington Nationals vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Stadium: Citizens Bank Ballpark, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania