Blown leads, multiple replay reviews, monstrous homers, more blown leads, plays at the plate, late-game strategy ... this game have enough in it for you?
What an entertaining ballgame tonight’s 10-7 Nationals win turned out to be. It lasted a whopping three hours, 56 minutes, saw 364 pitches get thrown, and ended with the Nats celebrating a wild victory thanks to Jayson Werth’s go-ahead grand slam in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Matt Williams covered all the main topics in his postgame session with reporters, and here are the highlights from that press conference:
On the work of his bullpen:
“Anytime your starter doesn’t give you what he expects or gets deeper into the game, then you have to use your bullpen. Our luxury is, we’ve got two guys down there that can do that. One from each side. That’s the difference in the game. They just fought tonight. Which is good.”
On Jordan Zimmermann, who went just 1 2/3 innings tonight, the shortest outing of his career:
“He just struggled with his command. They came out swinging, too. They were really aggressive early in the game. Pushed a couple across in the first inning. He just wasn’t crisp tonight with his command.”
On Bryce Harper, who crushed his first homer of the season:
“Getting to that point, fouling off some balls. I’m more impressed with the next at-bat. Taking the ball the other way. He’s going to hit homers, we know that. His consistency in which he takes the ball the other way is key for him. It was a good night for him.”
On the Nats drawing some confidence from Harper’s homer, which made it just a two-run Marlins lead:
“Sure. Any time you’re down five, it’s tough to come back. But they fought tonight. I’m proud of them for it. They stayed in it. Bryce’s homer helped. Even after they tied the game late, they still fought, which they’re happy with and I’m happy with. ... (The homer) gets us back in the game. There’s a completely different down two as opposed to down five. That’s a big swing for him, confidence wise. It’s a big swing for us. It allowed us to get back in the game and apply a little bit of pressure when you needed to - Denard (Span) laying down a bunt. Those types of things are available to you if you get back in the game.
On if he was surprised that the Marlins intentionally walked Anthony Rendon to get to Werth in the eighth:
“They’re looking for a double play. Jayson put a good swing on it. He was 1-for-4 or something against (Marlins righty Carlos Marmol). No big swing either way. They were looking for the double play.”
On how his bullpen looks going into tomorrow:
“Taxed. So we’ll have to tippy-toe through if we have to. Had to use them tonight. Didn’t have a choice.”