All we know about Saturday’s game is that John McLaren is going to manage. After everything the Nationals have been through the past 48 hours, and given the unpredictable, thrilling, gut-wrenching brand of baseball they specialize in, it would be foolish to try to guess anything else.
It’s hard, impossible, really, to summarize the Nationals’ 9-5 victory over the White Sox quickly. “That was a very interesting game, to say the least,” Ryan Zimmerman said. It took 14 innings, but when it ended the Nationals were 39-37 and just 3 ½ games out of the NL wild card lead. Quickly, a few numbers that defined the game:
The number of relievers in the Nationals’ bullpen at the end of the game. Collin Balester was the last one to leave, and he pitched two innings. It could have been much, much more. “I knew that,” Balester said. “I was the only guy left in there. I was going to pitch as long as I could. I was ready to go nine if they needed me.”
Hits by Roger Bernadina, a career high. Three of them did not leave the infield. He also made an incredible catch. In the sixth inning, Adam Dunn smoked a pitch to deep center. Bernadina drifted back to the wall. He struck his foot in a hole in the chain-link fence, grabbed the wall with his right hand and stuck his glove over the fence. While hanging on the wall, he calmly stole a two-run home run from Dunn.
Blown leads by the Nationals. They became the sixth team since 1969 to blow three saves and a win the game.
Time of the game. “I was starving in the fourth inning,” Zimmerman said. “That’s what I’m going to remember.”
Runs scored in extra innings this season by the Nationals. They’ve outscored opponents 26-6 this year in extra innings.
Jordan Zimmermann’s ERA after he shutout the White Sox for seven innings, which ranks 7th in the National League. He’s allowed four home runs and 18 walks in 94 2/3 innings all season.
Michael Morse’s OPS in his last 43 games. Morse hit his 14th home run of the season, a two-run that scored the game’s first runs.