Ohlendorf continues to come up big (Zimmerman’s walk-off homer gives Nats 2-1 win)

Who would’ve thought back in February that the Nationals would be turning to Ross Ohlendorf in July to deliver a quality start to help save the bullpen and give them a much-needed win?

Not this guy, that’s for sure.

Ohlendorf has been spectacular this season, and that didn’t change today. He threw seven innings of one-run ball, keeping the Nationals in a game where their offense - again - has been nearly nonexistent and giving quality innings to a team that is dealing with a worn-down ‘pen.

Davey Johnson went all-in with Ohlendorf, trusting the veteran left-hander in big spot in the seventh with the potential go-ahead runner in scoring position and Ohlendorf already having thrown 113 pitches.

Johnson not only left Ohlendorf in to face David Wright, he didn’t have anyone warming in the ‘pen behind him. The game rested on Ohlendorf’s right arm, and he delivered.

He got Wright to pop up foul to first baseman Adam LaRoche on the first pitch, keeping the score tied 1-1.

Ohlendorf had an 8.15 ERA in 2011. He had a 7.77 ERA in 2012.

This season with the Nats, Ohlendorf’s ERA is a sparkling 1.87.

Matt Harvey is still in the game here in the eighth, having thrown just 84 pitches through seven innings. Like Ohlendorf, he’s been tremendous tonight.

Update: Two nights, two walk-off homers.

Bryce Harper did the job last night, sending the Nats home happy with his first career walk-off home run. Tonight, Ryan Zimmerman did the job, crushing a 3-1 fastball from LaTroy Hawkins into the seats in right-center for his ninth career walkoff homer. It gave the Nats a 2-1 win and led to a mob scene at home plate.

The Nats improve to 50-54 and avoid falling into a virtual tie with the Mets in the standings.

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