Nats Win Tenth Straight; Another Walkoff

There are a number of ways you can get on base in a baseball game. The Nationals are trying all the different ways a team can walk away from a game in the last inning with a win. For the fifth time in six games the Nationals won on a walkoff, this time after third baseman Jordan Pacheco bounced a one hopper to Mark Trumbo, who could not come up with the ball. It trickled into the camera well, allowing Denard Span to be awarded home for the only run of the game in the Nationals 1-0 win.

Both Wade Miley and Gio Gonzalez threw shutout ball for seven innings. Gio was the more effective of the two, limiting the Diamondbacks to just four hits. Arizona did put runners at second and third with one out in the third, but Ender Inciarte lined to short and Cliff Pennington stroked a shallow line drive to right for the third out. Gio loaded the bases in the fifth but again Pennington could not capitalize on the baserunners, popping one into the infield.

The Nationals seemed to have opportunities in every inning. In six of the seven innings they got the leadoff man on base. In those six innings they got at least two men on base. Three ground into double plays, two of them by LaRoche spoiled three of those rallies. LaRoche also struck out in the fifth with the bases loaded, failing to drive in seven of the baserunners he inherited. Danny Espinosa struck out and also grounded into a double play to strand four inherited runners.

In the bottom of the ninth Denard Span fought off a one out single into centerfield, his second hit of the day. With Anthony Rendon up he stole second. Rendon had the walk off pinch hit single in the game yesterday. This time, instead of screaming a ball past the third baseman, he hit a slow hopper to him. Span froze at second as Pacheco fielded the ball. The throw from Pacheco bounced on one hop to Mark Trumbo who could not handle it and the ball trickled into the camera well, the umpires rewarding Span home with the game winning run. One has to wonder if Paul Goldschmidt could have come up with that throw if he was playing first base.

For the second straight day Rafael Soriano got the win by coming into the game in the ninth inning.

Game Notes: Gio Gonzalez threw ten pitches to the leadoff hitter Ender Inciarte, finally getting him to ground out to second. It looked like another one of those high pitch count, short outings for Gio. He settled down after that, walking just three batters and finishing seven innings with 97 pitches. In his last two outings he was over 100 pitches after five innings…Bryce Harper let a single bounce past him to allow Alfredo Marte to advance to third. He compounded the situation by holding the ball too long as if he was daring Marte to race home. He still threw the ball home, way off line, allowing Wade Miley to advance to second. Bryce Harper can sometimes play like the 21 year old he is…After the fifth inning the Diamondbacks only brought the minimum 12 hitters to the plate in the last four innings. Two hitters got on via walks, but one (Trumbo) was erased on a caught stealing and the other (Trumbo again) on a double play grounder…Ian Desmond got the day off on Ian Desmond bobblehead day. In the ninth it would have been nice to see him get the call to pinch hit and hit a walkoff homerun. Instead it was Scott Hairston who got the call. He roped the ball to left field for the line drive out…Matt Stites was hitting 98 miles per hour on the radar gun…It is a mystery to myworld why the Yankees released Matt Thornton if they were still gunning for the playoffs. His fastball is in the mid 90s and he hasn’t given up a run in his seven appearances, giving up only three hits. He still seems to have pretty good stuff…The ten game winning streak is tied with the longest in franchise history…The Diamondbacks are going in the opposite direction, losing their sixth straight game…

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