It is just one game in 162.
That is what all the players say, right? Especially when things are not going well.
But that game Friday in San Diego was one to remember and one for the record books.
The Nationals beat the Padres 6-5 in 10 innings. It was the 10th inning that had a ton of twists and turns that Dan Brown would have been proud to pen.
In the top of that extra-inning frame, Padres reliever Huston Street got the first two outs with relative ease. In walks pinch-hitter Chad Tracy, who promptly connects with a solo blast over the right field fence, and the Nationals led 6-5.
It was a distinctive counterpunch for the Nats, who had relinquished a 5-2 lead.
In the bottom of the tenth, former closer Drew Storen came on to finish what Rafael Soriano was unable to do in the ninth. Soriano allowed two unearned runs to score, with an unfortunate combination of (another) Ryan Zimmerman throwing error and three consecutive singles.
After one out, Storen surrendered a pair of singles, and San Diego had men on first and third. One of the base hits went off of Storen’s throwing hand. He stayed in the game after a couple of warm-up pitches.
Then, Storen struck out Chris Denorfia and forced Everth Cabrera into a grounder to third. Zimmerman was there to make the play. After bobbling the ball initially, he then fired across the diamond to get the speedy Cabrera and end the game.
How big was it for Zimmerman’s confidence to get the shot to make up for the ninth inning error and end the game? Pretty big, indeed.
It was also a game of firsts.
It was the first win of the season for Soriano, the first save for Storen, the first home run for Tracy and the first RBI for a pinch-hitter this season for the Nats.
But the importance of this gutty comeback, from a 2-0 deficit and losing a 5-3 lead in the ninth, cannot be understated. Sure, there are 162 games in a season, but this win goes up on the board in bold.