This Nationals’ season was a memorable and historic one, filled with seminal moments and transcendent performances. This next week, we will look back at many of them and ask you to rank them. Today, we look at the best comebacks of the season, and you can vote below.
- Nationals 5, Diamondbacks 4. MAY 2: This was an early signal that Ian Desmond was poised to have a breakout season and provide many important hits. The Nationals trailed 4-3 after giving up two runs in the sixth. Bryce Harper, in his fourth game of the season, doubled off closer J.J. Putz to lead off the bottom of the ninth. Desmond came to bat with two outs and, according to Baseball Reference, the Diamondbacks had a 86 percent chance of winning the game. In a 1-1 count, Desmond hammered a two-run walkoff home run to deep left field.
- Nationals 7, Mets 6 (12 innings). JUNE 5: The victory will be remembered for the first walkoff hit of Bryce Harper’s career, a line drive single to left that sent Ryan Zimmerman running into his arms. But Ian Desmond’s performance was more remarkable. He had three game-tying RBI, including a single in the eighth and a double in the 12th.
- Nationals 6, Giants 5. JULY 5: In the seventh inning, the Giants led, 5-1, with ace Matt Cain on the mound. The Giants had won 74 of 75 games when they led by at least three runs. But when Ian Desmond hit a solo homer in the seventh, Bryce Harper turned to Adam LaRoche in the dugout and said, “We’re going to win this game.” Two runs in the ninth, capped by a botched double-play attempt, gave the Nationals their seventh walk-off victory.
- Nationals 11, Brewers 10 (11). JULY 29: In the contest for loopiest game of the year, this one has no equals. The Nationals trailed by four runs after seven innings and by two after eight. Michael Morse crushed a game-tying homer in the ninth down the right field line, and he won it in the 11th with a two-run double. Davey Johnson talked about gaining gray hair as the Nationals packed for home, a 6-1 road trip complete.
- Nationals 5, Braves 4 (13). AUG. 20: Can it be a comeback if the Nationals scored four runs in the first inning? In this one, they came back from their own shortcomings as much as from a deficit. They went scoreless for 11 innings before the 13th inning, when they put runners on the corners and then watched as Dan Uggla inexplicably held Chad Tracy’s ground ball.
- Nationals 7, Marlins 6 (10). SEPT. 8: Mark DeRosa later called it the greatest at-bat of all time. The Nationals and Marlins waited out a rain delay for 2 hours 33 minutes in the middle of the ninth inning with the Nationals trailing 6-5. Jayson Werth led off against Heath Bell. With the count full, Werth smashed a 96-mph fastball onto the grassy berm beyond the center field fence. An inning later, the Nationals sealed a wet, wild win
- Dodgers 7, Nationals 6. SEPT. 19: The Nationals didn’t win but they staged one of the most dramatic comebacks of the season given the circumstances. After falling behind 6-0 in the fourth inning, Davey Johnson began pulling his regulars. The Nationals needed one more win to clinch a playoff berth but Johnson inserted Mark DeRosa, Chad Tracy, Tyler Moore and Corey Brown. (Johnson had started Steve Lombardozzi over Danny Espinosa.) Still, the Nationals came back and tied the score with six runs in the eighth with home runs by Lombardozzi and Morse, a grounder by Brown that forced an error and singles by Bryce Harper and Morse.
Best pitching performance (Winner so far: Ross Detwiler’s NLDS Game 4 start)