As I dry myself off here in the press box ...
Matt Williams might not love the Nationals’ 2-for-12 line with runners in scoring position today or the fact that they stranded 17 runners, but he did love the way his team kept getting runners on and giving itself chances to come back and beat the Cardinals.
That’s exactly what happened in this afternoon’s 3-2 walk-off win.
The Nats scored twice in the seventh to even the score, then loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth, and Denard Span won it with a sac fly to left, scoring Danny Espinosa to set off a mob scene on the field and a Gatorade bath for Span.
Here’s Williams on the win:
On all the opportunities the Nats had: “Talk about those opportunities and giving ourselves that multiple times in a game, you like your chances, certainly. Especially against a good team like that, we want to create those. I don’t know how many guys we had on base today, but it felt like a lot. Again, opportunities are big for us.”
On his thoughts on Stephen Strasburg, who allowed two runs over six: “Stras was good. Good fastball from the get-go, good use of his changeup today, as well. Would like to leave him in there, but we’ve got to tie the score. He was good, though.”
On the quality at-bats late: “(Nate McLouth’s) at-bat’s an example of it. Didn’t get outside the zone, Denard in the last inning certainly didn’t get outside the strike zone, he fouled off a couple balls. Mike (Matheny) played the five-man infield to cut that right side of the infield off, and he did a nice job staying on the baseball. Those situations present themselves and sometimes you’ve got to adjust to what the situation gives you. But overall, they swung the bats really well and created those opportunities.”
On Espinosa and Jose Lobaton, who went a combined 6-for-9 today: “Fantastic. They’re both playing well. They’re both eager to play every day, and they’ve done well. The last at-bat for Loby is an example of doing what he wanted to do there - good fastball, changeup guy, got a fastball up in the zone and hit it in the hole to first and third them and give us an opportunity. That’s great.”
On if he talked to Bryce Harper before the game today: “I did, yeah. It was good. Just sat with him for a couple minutes at his locker and told him I’m confident in him and proud of him and he was gonna have an impact today, which he did. He had an impact getting a hit, stealing a base and giving us another opportunity. Made some nice plays in the outfield. Did well.”