Johan Santana retired the first nine Nationals he faced tonight.
He then gave up hits to the next four Nats hitters. The fourth left the ballpark, giving the Nationals their first grand slam of the season.
Michael Morse crushed a 1-1 fastball over the scoreboard in right-center, turning a 2-0 Nats deficit into a 4-2 Nats lead and sending what looks like a nearly sold out crowd into a frenzy.
It was Morse’s third career grand slam, and he enjoyed every second of the experience.
He gave forceful, two-handed low-fives to Jayson Werth, Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman, who had all singled in front of him and were waiting for him at home plate. He jogged back to the dugout with a huge smile on his face, ready to greet the rest of his teammates. He heard the crowd ask for a curtain call, came to the top step of the dugout, and gave a double fist pump in the air.
Nats Park got truly loud during that moment. It feels like a pennant race is coming.
Meanwhile, after allowing two runs in the first inning, Ross Detwiler has really settled in.
He’s retired 13 of the last 15 he’s faced, and has a nice little lead to work with in the middle innings.
Update: That nice little lead just got bigger.
Harper got in on the party in the bottom of the fifth, tagging a two-run shot to right, giving the Nats a 6-2 lead.
It was Harper’s 11th homer of the season. He’s now 2-for-3 off Santana today and looks to be swinging with much more aggression than we’ve seen over the last couple months.
Update II: A single Mets run in both the sixth and seventh innings have made this a tight one again.
An RBI groundout from Ronny Cedeno and a Kelly Shoppach solo home run have turned this from a 6-2 game into a 6-4 contest, one which will now likely force Davey Johnson to go to Sean Burnett and Tyler Clippard in the late innings.
Update III: With the Mets sending up right-handed hitters David Wright and Scott Hairston in the eighth, it was Drew Storen who came out of the ‘pen for the frame for that inning, not the lefty Burnett.
Storen did his job, working a scoreless inning with the help of Zimmerman and Danny Espinosa, who turned a smooth 5-4-3 double play.
Update IV: Make that 11 wins in their last 13 games. The Nats keep rolling.
The Nats beat the Mets 6-4 tonight, with all six of their runs coming in on home runs. Detwiler gets his seventh win, Clippard gets his 26th save and the Nats move to 29 games above .500.