Nats Win with Reynolds Walkoff

The Nationals had the bases loaded and no out in the bottom of the eighth. The next three National hitters could not drive a runner home. Daniel Murphy pinch hit for Spencer Kieboom and flew out to center. Michael Taylor was standing in the on deck circle to pinch hit for the pitcher if Murph had got on base. In the bottom of the ninth Dave Martinez chose to lead off the inning with Mark Reynolds instead of Taylor. There was just one thing on his mind for that change. A walkoff. Reynolds got ahead in the count 3-1 and then obliged the wishes of Martinez, driving the next pitch into the Marlins bullpen off Kyle Barraclough for the walkoff 3-2 win. Not quite as dramatic as the win the day before when they came back from a 9-0 deficit, but another exciting win just the same.

Gio Gonzalez did not have a good start. Five of the first seven hitters he faced saw a three ball count. In the third inning Cameron Maybin hit a hard ground ball that Turner made a nice back hand stop on, but his throw to the base was just a tad wide, pulling Matt Adams off the bag. A bunt by Dan Strailey advanced Maybin to second. Starlin Castro roped a pitch down the third base line, just fair, but as it rolled toward the ball girl and reached the fence a fan scooped it up with their glove to turn it into a ground rule double. Maybin scored and the Marlins had a 1-0 lead.

The Nationals came back in the fourth when Dan Strailey had difficulty finding the strike zone. Anthony Rendon and Bryce Harper started the inning with back to back walks. Back to back RBI singles by Adam Eaton and Wilmer Difo gave the Nationals a 2-1 lead. With runners on first and third and one out Spencer Kieboom laid down a safety squeeze bunt. Eaton tried to score from third but was thrown out.

Gio had loaded the bases in the top of the fourth but was saved by Anthony Rendon who made a five unassisted to first double play to escape the inning. In the fifth Gonzalez gave up three straight hits to pitcher Dan Strailey, Starlin Castro and Brian Anderson to load the bases with no out. Turner made a back hand stab at short and went home with the ball to get the first out. Gonzalez walked the next batter to force in a run and tie the game at 2-2. He got behind Justin Bour 3-0 but then rallied to strike out Bour and also Garrett Cooper to get out of the inning. He would not start the sixth, with a pitch count that exceeded 110.

The wasted opportunity for the Nationals was in the eighth when back to back walks to Anthony Rendon and Bryce Harper and an infield single by Matt Adams loaded the bases with no outs. Adam Eaton hit a fly to left that was too shallow to score Rendon. Cooper threw a strike to home. Perhaps with one out you take the chance and send the runner home but with no outs you hope for another opportunity. It never came. Wilmer Difo pooped to short and Daniel Murphy flew to center to end the inning.

Doolittle came on to pitch the top of the ninth, but got the win instead of the save when he retired the side in order and was rewarded by the Reynolds walkoff.

Game Notes: Mark Reynolds has been playing well but once Ryan Zimmerman comes off the disabled list myworld does not see the Nationals keeping three first baseman. Reynolds will probably be the one to go…Gio was rescued by three double plays in his five innings of work. He walked four and gave up eight hits…The fan who scooped the ball up in the third had the ball taken away from him. Perhaps he was given a choice. Keep the ball and we will escort you out of the park or surrender the ball and you can stay to watch the game…Trea Turner over slid second base on what would have been a successful steal. Myworld has seen a lot of players over slide second, most of them coming in on head first slides…Cameron Maybin made a nice diving catch on a ball Wilmer Difo hit into the right centerfield gap. Adam Eaton was on second and would have scored easily if Maybin had not made the play…The Nationals have now won 13 consecutive games against Miami. They also won back to back games for the first time since early June (5th and 6th)…Kyle Barraclough was voted National League reliever of the month in June. After giving up the walkoff to Mark Reynolds it will be tough for him to win back to back months.

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