Paolo Espino pitches and Yadiel Hernandez walk-off on the Phillies!

Paolo Espino‘s wife (left) and Yadiel Hernandez‘s wife (right) got to watch their husbands; Photo by Sol Tucker for TalkNats

A 33-year-old callup started the second game of this doubleheader, and a rookie callup who will be 33 in 2 weeks hit a 2-run walkoff home run to lift the Washington Nationals to a doubleheader sweep over the Phillies. Yadiel Hernandez is the oldest player in Major League history to hit a walkoff home run as his first career home run according to STATS Perform.

For a little while it felt like the 2019 version of the “Los Viejos” were back. Somewhere in a distant land, Gerardo Parra had to be smiling. You had to figure after a 19-31 start to this season that some of the old magic would return.

There are a few players who stepped up in this game from Juan Soto who hit a 3-run homer to Andrew Stevenson who had two big hits and a triple and some key defensive plays to Trea Turner to all of the pitchers and Kurt Suzuki who handled them. But this was Yadiel’s night to send everyone home happy from the D.C. side.

Hernandez’s first stint after his MLB debut on September 10th was nothing great as he went hitless (0-7), and he was optioned back to the minor league camp in Fredericksburg. But with injuries this week, he was called back up and made some history. He had a big RBI earlier in this game and nothing bigger than this walk-off that he pulled deep down the line on a 90 mph cutter for the first Nats come-from-behind win after the seventh inning this season. For the game, Hernandez had two hits, and three RBIs.

“The boys were jacked up,” manager Dave Martinez said. “It means a lot to these players.”

For Paolo Espino, he pitched better than his line might suggest going 4.0 innings and giving up 3-runs, and he exited with a 6-3 lead. That lead slowly evaporated as the tie game turned to falling behind 7-6, and that led to this dramatic 2-run walk-off home run winner.

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