The Nationals’ young catcher Wilson Ramos made a coming-of-age play Tuesday with his dramatic three-run walk-off home run to stun the Seattle Mariners, 6-5. It is one of those hits that can make players and fans believe the Nationals can win any game at any time.
The fact that it was the 23-year old Ramos who hit the homer shows that the Nationals’ younger players are learning how to win games when given the opportunity.
Last Thursday, 24-year old second baseman Danny Espinosa came to the plate in the 10th inning and crushed a three-run home run to beat the St. Louis Cardinals, 7-4. The Cardinals had comeback from a 4-2 deficit to tie the game in the ninth inning on a Yadier Molina home run.
A less experienced team or a franchise that didn’t quite believe they could win a game like that would have wilted in the extra frames and gone off quietly.
Not this season.
Even in the 7-4 loss to the Orioles Sunday, and with not much going right for the Nationals, Espinosa smacked a solo shot in the ninth to try to get a rally started.
With players like the just-turned-27-year-old Roger Bernadina, Espinosa and Ramos making big offensive plays, especially the game-deciding, walk-off variety, the Nationals are getting big hits and figuring out how to win with the next generation.
After all, even Ryan Zimmerman is still young, at 26. Shortstop Ian Desmond is young, at 25. The Nationals have a core group who are taking the responsibility upon themselves to win games and not wait for someone else to do it.
That bodes well for the foundation of winning the Nationals are looking to reach as the season and years progress. Are you listening 22-year-old Stephen Strasburg and 18-year-old Bryce Harper? I thought you were.