The Nationals' comeback to beat the Cardinals 3-2 on a Denard Span sacrifice fly in the ninth gave them their sixth come-from-behind win this season. They split the four-game set with St. Louis, improving to 5-1 in series finales. The Nats left 17 men on base, but managed to come away with the victory.
Span spoke about his at-bat against right-hander Seth Maness in the ninth with the bases loaded, one out and the game tied 2-2. The Cards played an extra man in the infield for Span's at-bat.
"I counted, 1-2-3-4-5. Right there, I told myself a ground ball is not going to do it," Span said. "Try to get the ball in the air somehow.
"Once I got behind, all I was thinking was make contact, whether it be a ground ball or fly ball, he gave me a changeup up in the zone. I was able to put a good swing on it."
Span also addressed the Nats leaving so many men on base.
"We just stayed the course. We definitely had a lot of opportunities against Shelby Miller to go ahead and capitalize," Span said. "You've got to give him a little credit. He made some pitches and got us out, but we just kept fighting. We kept having good at-bats and getting baserunners. The last seventh or eighth inning, we were finally able to get two runs on the board and gave ourselves a chance to win."
Span was pleased to see the Nats split the series with St. Louis.
"I missed the first two games of the series, but I saw it from afar," he said. "Just a crazy, roller-coaster type series. Seemed like a lot of stuff happened. Definitely winning cures a lot of stuff. Definitely good to get a win today and split the series against a good team."
The team mobbed Span after the win and he tried to protect his head following a stint on the disabled list with a concussion, the second of his career.
"I am thinking that, but I couldn't say that," Span said. "I was screaming so loud, I was so into the moment. But at same time I was thinking, 'Don't hit me upside the head too hard,' because I just came off the DL. But in that moment, the adrenaline, the excitement, I was just in the moment and having fun."
Outfielder Jayson Werth, starter Stephen Strasburg and outfielder Bryce Harper also spoke after the win.
Werth on the series with the Cardinals:
"Good series, I feel like we battled. We got our (butts) kicked the one night. But we played pretty good. Some pretty good pitching we have seen if you add in (Marlins ace Jose) Fernandez the day before we got here. We are playing good ball. We just need to keep it going. I feel like one night you guys are talking how awful we are. The next night it is how good we are. We've got a long way to go, we need to stay the course, and we will be all right."
Harper on pregame talk with Matt Williams:
"He just said go get them. That is the three words he said. It was very enthusiastic. It is good to be back out there and play and just be a part of a win."
Harper on facing left-handers Kevin Siegrist and Randy Choate:
"I have been comfortable against (Siegrist) a while now, since spring. I feel good against him now. I feel like I am having pretty good AB's against him, seeing pitches. Choate is pretty dang good. Siegrist the same thing. He is 95 (mph), Choate has got that big slider and very good two-seam. I was trying to go up there and battle as best I can. Couldn't come up clutch there that first AB, but (Denard Span) picked it up."
Strasburg on his outing:
"I just wanted to go out there and keep it close. It was good we were able to come back in the end."
Strasburg on facing pitcher Shelby Miller, who hit a RBI double in the fifth:
"I just threw a fastball and it came back over the plate."
Strasburg on comeback win:
"I think we have been able to win the close ones. It is going to be huge. Those one-run games, or those tie ballgames late, just to give us the confidence that we can go out there and pull it out. It is huge."
Watch Span's game-winning sac fly in the video below.