The Dodgers-Nats 14-inning marathon, in 19 wacky tweets


(By Jae C. Hong / AP)

If you watched Wednesday afternoon’s Dodgers-Nats marathon — which eventually became Wednesday evening’s Dodgers-Nats marathon, and then Wednesday night’s Dodgers-Nats marathon — you already know that it was one of this season’s wackiest games. The fact that it involved perhaps the National League’s two best teams — who might well be on a collision course for October — made it both wacky and compelling. The fact that it also included about 700 players, and multiple improbable comebacks, and one of the most memorable fans in recent Nats history, made it wacky, compelling, and unforgettable.

Here are 19 wacky tweets that help describe the wackiness. Read Kilgore’s game story for a more linear description.

THE SUN-BATHING FAN

Before all the drama — before all the pitching changes and clutch hit-like-things and celebrations — there was this fan. In addition to all the other performance-art aspects of this man’s persona, you’ll note that in the second photo he is actually gripping a hot dog in his hand as he dozes. No gamin, this one.

 

#IBACKTHEBIRDS

Ordinarily this wouldn’t even merit a mention, but in light of what followed, let’s not forget the official television home of the Washington Nationals accidentally mixing up the Nats and Orioles during an early-innings tweet. Just a sign of the wackiness to come. Yes, I’ve made typos. And yes, the MASN account quickly deleted its mistake and apologized.

 

THE LAROCHE HOMER

The actual drama started in the top of the ninth, when a hobbled Adam LaRoche — suffering from back pain and stiffness, who had literally been sleeping in the clubhouse earlier in the game — came up with a runner on and the Nats down two. Using one of Jayson Werth’s bats — he hadn’t brought his — LaRoche homered. This was Kirk Gibson stuff, on a possibly less dramatic scale. Then LaRoche ambled around the bases like an animatronic scarecrow whose power supply has failed.

 

DEE GORDON SWINGS AT A PITCH THAT HITS HIM

There was plenty more drama, with the Dodgers loading the bases in both the 10th and 11th, and the Nats escaping unscathed. The highlight came when Dee Gordon was facing Jerry Blevins with the bases loaded in the 11th, and a pitch hit Gordon, and all the fans started celebrating, except Gordon had actually swung at the pitch. Now, it’s not entirely clear if Gordon would have been hit had he not been swinging. Likely not. Still, the potential game-winning extra-innings HBP was canceled out by a swing.

(And I realize you can’t see the ball here. Apologies. But you can sure see Gordon facing the wrong way.)

 

THE CARL CRAWFORD HOME RUN

Anyhow, the Nats went ahead by two, and everyone started celebrating, and then with two outs in the bottom of the 12th the Dodgers got a seeing-eye hit and a home run and the game was tied. Tyler Clippard and Denard Span spoke for man.

 

THE FALSE WIN TWEET

Just before that, gloriously, the Dodgers’s television affiliate had declared the game over. No, I don’t know what that reminded you of. But it was quite a day of tweeting for the television partners.

FANS FREAK OUT

The reaction on the Nats side was shocked. I could have included about 200 more like these.

 

FISTER HITS

No position players pitched in this game. But Doug Fister sure as heck stepped in as a pinch-hitter. There was a long build-up, too, since the previous inning he was stranded in the on-deck circle.

THE 9 SPOT

Which reminds me: turns out more than one guy wound up penciled into the 9 hole in the Nats lineup. Let’s see….actually, yes, every player on the Nats wound up penciled into the 9 hole in the Nats lineup.

 

KEEPING SCORE BY HAND

So, what did it look like to keep score of this labyrinthine monstrosity by hand? Glad you asked! That’s a lot of names! And scribbles!

 

EVERYONE LEFT

You’ll recall that this was an extra-innings drama-filled wackadoodle marathon between two of the National League’s best teams. Unfortunately, no one stayed to watch it.

 

LAROCHE’S REWARD

The Nats won, of course, with LaRoche driving in five runs. The Nats reported that he became just the second MLB player since 1961 to drive in five or more runs after entering a game in the 9th inning or later. This was worthy of a civic honor. D.C. Council Member Tommy Wells agreed.

 

BROADCASTERS RAVE

Two of the team’s broadcasters — radio’s Charlie Slowes, and television’s F.P. Santangelo — agreed that this was a game they would not soon forget.

 

MATT WILLIAMS WAS AT A LOSS FOR WORDS

The Nats skipper was asked to describe this game. He said he was unable to.

 

RAY KNIGHT WAS NOT

Ray Knight, meanwhile, celebrated as only Ray Knight can.

Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.

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Des Bieler · September 3, 2014