This game was mostly painful to watch; it dragged on way too long. The Nats bats just weren’t there for most of the game. In fact it is a minor miracle I was awake for the really exciting 14th inning (thanks to my anticipation for the hockey playoff game soon to start in Wash, D.C.).
So, the 14th inning starts with the game tied and our star pitcher grabbing a bat and heading to the batter’s box as a pinch-hitter! That was actually not so far fetched since he was hitting .286 with several key RBIs to his credit. Anyhow, Max hits a clean single up the middle, and then we fans could hope maybe Max would try to steal 2B again:))) Wilmer Difo then hits a shot in the right-centerfield gap that goes all the way to the wall. Max takes off from first clearly pushing himself to top speed. I began to worry about him pulling a hamstring (I have painful experience with that!). But as I watch him approach 3B I see Bob Henley signaling Max to try to score! I see the cutoff man bobble the throw a bit and then try to catch Difo stretching for a triple, so I know Max will score and put the Nats ahead.
They ended up winning the game 5-3, and pulling to only a half game out of first place. And the 2 minor-league players in the game (Soto and Keiboom) had more hits (5) than the rest of the team combined!
Max Scherzer is on the mound today and nobody (including Max) knows if he will be able to throw more than 5-10 pitches. And THAT explains the fortunes of the Washington Nationals in this post-season, in 25 words or less:)))
I am a “baseball lifer” and am still playing the game we love. Therefore I too have encountered “hamstring problems.” Solving them can take as long as several months; Max is trying to pitch today only 10 days or so after “tweaking” his hamstring! If Max can’t pitch his usual 7 strong innings, the Nats have almost no chance of getting past the Chicago Cubbies to the National League Championship series of the 2017 playoffs.
The game begins at 4pm; enjoy it:))
A couple of nights ago, I happened to be watching as an unknown Oriole hit his walk-off home-run to beat the NY Mets. Then I switched back to the Nats-Rockies game in time to catch the Nats late rally to win their second in a row. Thus the Nats gained a game on the Mets.
Today the Nats are 4 games behind. They start a home-stand against some weaker teams and time is fast running out for the curly Ws. Denard Span might return soon. “Tony Two-bags” might start hitting.
And Scherzer might start pitching.
Who knows, MW might even be manazging next year.
Here is yet one more better move than the Scherzer signing: Cole Hammels is still out there. Every staff of starting pitchers should have at least one lefty, right? They could have acquired Hamels for significantly less than $210M, then traded Gio, the weak-link of the rotation. With the money saved they might have acquired a top second-baseman, like Ben Zobrist, or at least one who is better than “The Danny,” and isn’t a clubhouse liability.