Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard shut down the Mets in the 7th and 8th innings Wednesday to help the Nats snap a 5-game skid and win 5-3.
Storen made his Nats Park debut, getting a nice ovation from the 19,384 as he was introduced following 6 and 1/3rd innings from starter Livan Hernandez. With a man on 2nd, Drew induced Jose Reyes to line out and Luis Castillo to ground out to end the 7th.
Clippard had a nice bounce back after allowing the go ahead homer Tuesday in St. Louis by striking out Ike Davis and Angel Pagan to end the 8th frame.
Matt Capps continued his outstanding play with his 15th save, getting three outs despite a solo shot from Fernando Tatis in the 9th.
Storen understandably was pretty elated after notching his first win as a major leaguer in only his second big league appearance. And yes, he was wearing the Elvis wig for post game interviews.
“It is hard to describe the last couple of days. I am just happy to get in there. I feel bad taking that win from Livo after the game he threw.”
The Nats won despite allowing an inside-the-park home run and a triple play started by the same player, the aforementioned Pagan, who almost single-handedly turned this game into a nightmare for the Nats with his spectacular play and speed.
So what did you think as you headed to the mound in the seventh inning?
“I didn’t let the pressure get to me. I love coming out of the pen in those situations. That is what I like to do.”
“It easy out there for me because I have got Pudge behind the plate. He takes care of me. He is calling a great game back there for me. That is a huge help for me. I have been fortunate to get off to a great start. Hopefully, we can keep it going.”
Was it different this night versus your first appearance at Busch Stadium?
“I didn’t feel like it flew by like it did in St. Louis. In St. Louis, I was just so excited to get out there. Tonight, I made some good pitches and utilized the good defense behind me.
You don’t have a problem coming in with men on base?
“I love that. I started doing that in college. We did a little bit of that in the minor leagues. I love coming in with guys on base and the pressure. I am a big fan.”
Is it amazing to look back on where you were a year ago today?
“It is. A year ago I am trying to figure out what I am going to do during the summer. If you wind back I am saying I meet be in the Cape or I might be playing pro ball. It seems like a long time ago but at the sme time it doesn’t.”
“It is a pretty whirlwind experience. Everybody keeps saying that but it is 100 percent the truth.”
Drew told me his phone had 35 messages on it, a lot of them from friends who weren’t big baseball fans until they found out how fast Storen was working his way through the system. I am guessing there will be a lot more baseball fans headed his way in the near future.
The Nationals have won 5 of their 7 games against the Mets this season and 7 of their last 10 against New York at Nationals Park.