In a game that looked unwinnable, the Washington Nationals battled back from an eight-run deficit to defeat the Atlanta Braves, 13-12, on Tuesday night.
“They just kept hanging around, and we let them do that,” Braves Manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “This is the major leagues. Anybody can run you out of the ballpark, and that is what happened there at the end.”
When Ryan Zimmerman struck out swinging to lead off the ninth inning, the Nats had a 2.6 percent chance of victory. Then Jose Lobaton hit a line drive to center for a single, and that jumped to 7 percent. A walk by Danny Espinosa increased it further to 14.3 percent. And then
mighty Casey Dan Uggla stepped up to bat to bring joy to Mudville.
Uggla’s three-run home run gave the Nats an 85.3 percent win probability and would be all they needed to start their climb back into the NL East playoff race.
Since 2008, Uggla has 17 at bats in this spot — runners on first and second with one out in the ninth — with 10 bases hits, three of which have now been home runs.
“It was cool. This stadium, this place is very special to me,” Uggla said. “I’ve had a lot of great memories here. … I love Atlanta. I love the fans here. I love everything about this place.”
It was more than cool — it was historic. Per Elias:
It was only the third time in Nationals franchise history that they overcame a deficit that large to win and both were done when the team was located in Montreal. On May 16, 1997, the Expos trailed the Giants, 11-2, after three innings before mounting a furious comeback in a 14-13 win. The game-winning hit was delivered by David Segui off Rod Beck in the bottom of the ninth inning. On August 26, 2003, the Expos trailed the Phillies, 8-0, heading into the bottom of the fifth inning. Montreal scored 14 runs over the next four innings in a 14-10 win. Wil Cordero (4 RBI) and Jose Vidro (3 RBI) led the comeback.
It was the fifth time in Braves franchise history that they lost a game in which they led by at least eight runs. They did it once in 1933 when the team was located in Boston and three times when it was located in Atlanta (1970, 1992 and 2010).
Dan Uggla’s three-run home run in the ninth inning on an 0-2 pitch turned a 12-10 deficit into a 13-12 lead for the [Nats]. It was the second time this season that a player hit a “behind-to-ahead” home run in the ninth inning or later on an 0-2 pitch. Dexter Fowler did it for the Cubs in Colorado on April 12. There was only one such home run in 2013 and 2014 combined (Adam Dunn against the Yankees on May 23, 2014).