Monday night, the Nats had a game delayed by rain, blew a 4-1 first-inning lead, watched most of their fans leave when Metro closed, didn’t score for 11 straight innings, sent a starting pitcher to the ‘pen to warm up, for possible emergency relief, stranded what felt like dozens of runners in scoring position, and won on a walk-off 13th-inning hit-error thing when their runner on first (Kurt Suzuki) just stopped running, the confused second baseman (Dan Uggla) dropped the ball, and the runner on third (Danny Espinosa) sprinted home.
It might not have been the team’s weirdest win of the season, but it felt like it. Felt like a big one, too.
“That was BY FAR the biggest win of the year!” F.P. Santangelo wrote on Twitter. “Up 6 [instead of] up 4 w your bullpen spent and stras tomorrow who you can’t extend. HUGE!!!!!! HUGE!!!!!”
The post-win celebration was fitting, too. Above is the boring image of Danny Espinosa crossing home. Below are his teammates’ reactions.
Tyler Clippard was properly outfitted in a rally cap, grinning like a 5-year old who just got an extra chocolate-frosted rainbow sprinkle cupcake for good behavior.
Then Clippard put a surprised Tracy in a sleeper hold. That’s not good behavior. Michael Morse was looking for the cafeteria monitor. Or possibly at Jesus Flores’s mullet.
Davey Johnson, meantime, played the proud papa role to perfection, with an extended fit of hair-tousling.
Michael Morse threw a bucket of ice. He is always throwing things. You can’t see Gio Gonzalez’s face here, but trust me, he was smiling. Of course, the Nats could have allowed 43 13th-inning runs as a sinkhole opened in left field of Nats Park, and he would have been smiling.
Meanwhile, Jayson Werth kept hugging.
And hugging. Looks like a pretty good hugger, no?
The Nats, by the way, are now 30 games over .500, with the best record in baseball, the best run differential in baseball, a six-game divisional lead (for the first time since arriving in D.C.) and a projected win total of 101. That probably warrants a few hugs.