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Posted at 12:09 AM ET, 06/22/2011

Wilson Ramos’s walkoff home run celebration

Forget the Nats fans who left the Park in the bottom of the ninth inning Tuesday night, missing one of the greatest comeback wins in franchise history. I was sitting outside with my phone, doing nothing, and couldn’t even be bothered to follow electronic updates of the game, so sure was I that the Nats were finished.

But for about the third time in two weeks, the Nats somehow wriggled out of a seemingly lost situation — CSN beat guy Mark Zuckerman wrote that their expected win percentage was 0.5 percent after Ryan Zimmerman grounded into a double play in the ninth — and wound up celebrating a win.

And it was a good celebration, too. Because Major League Baseball hates you and doesn’t want you to have nice things, I can’t embed the video of the celebration here, but I’ll do the next best thing: provide copious screenshots! Out of spite, I’m not even linking to their video. Sorry.

As you can see, Ramos raised his arm in triumph before he even crossed home plate headed toward first, before any of the big-money fans even rose out of their seats. That was a quick decision. And it was the correct one.

As I wrote earlier this month, Ramos completed his first three home-run trots of the season each in less than 24 seconds. His painfullly slow suck-on-this trot in Arizona clocked in at nearly 29 seconds. This one, it seemed to me, was between 27 and 28 seconds. He definitely wasn’t in a hurry. His right arm was in the air for much of the walk.

Meanwhile, at home plate, Jerry Hairston suddenly turned around and gave a leaping high-10 to Ryan Zimmerman, who screamed in joy. See the far left. This was a sign of giddiness to come. As Collin Balester put it when describing the team’s reaction, “We’re jumping around like we’re 5-year-olds about to win a tee-ball game and get a sno-cone after.”

Finally, Ramos made it home. And showed off his hops. As does Roger Bernadina, out of solidarity.

Now here comes the fun. Look at Jayson Werth. This isn’t a guy who has smiled much during his first spring in D.C. He was smiling after Tuesday’s game, though.

Not just smiling, either. Here Werth was giving the high high-10 to Danny Espinosa. Just two men, touching four hands in shared celebration of an athletic victory. It’s hard to capture this one correctly, but it was an extremely enthusiastic move.

Not quite as enthusiastic as Ryan Zimmerman coming out of nowhere to request a piggy-back ride back to the dugout from Ramos. The offer seemed to be declined. And Todd Coffey chuckled as only a large man can.

Proud Papa Riggleman came out to congratulate the boys on their hard work and determination and maybe to impart some life lessons that they might later pass on to their own offspring over a warm plate of shepherd’s pie and a cold glass of birch beer.

Ramos, meantime, was, like, way too happy to stop and talk to MASN’s Debbi Taylor.

But his arrival in the dugout didn’t make his teammates chill out. Far from it. Michael Morse, in fact, seemed to give some Beast Mode like gesture to the crowd, as if to ask for more noise. Later, Morse would completely botch the Ga­tor­ade shower.

And then Werth came in for yet another bit of physical contact, one more hug, one more chance to touch the shoulders that delivered the winning blow.

And...nope. Still no time for Debbi.

Anyhow, for the first time in a very long time, I sort of look forward to Nats games out of some feeling that the hometown team will do something cool, and not to try to spellcheck on-screen graphics or transcribe controversial comments made by the color guy. It’s a nice change of pace.

Oh, and they’re in sole possession of third place. Weird, right?

By  |  12:09 AM ET, 06/22/2011

Categories:  Nats

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