Fifteen innings. Four hours, 58 minutes.
It took that long for the Nationals and Reds to decide the opener of a three-game series, and unfortunately for those who stuck around Nats Park or those who stayed up with us on MASN to watch this one, the road team ended up going home the victor.
Todd Frazier’s two-run homer in the top of the 15th off Ross Detwiler gave the Reds a 4-2 lead, and they hung on for a 4-3 victory.
It was a tight, entertaining ballgame, but a tough one for the Nats to lose.
Here’s manager Matt Williams after the defeat:
On Detwiler giving up the homer: “He threw a pitch in there, the guy hit a homer. It happens. A changeup stayed up. It happens during the game sometimes.”
On the decision not to bunt in the 14th after Kevin Frandsen’s leadoff double, instead tabbing Jose Lobaton as a pinch-hitter: “Well, we’ve got one guy left on the bench and we’ve got to take our shot to win the game. We could bunt him to third, try to bunt him to third with a pitcher, but Loby’s on the bench. We’ve got to take a shot. He looked to get a ball over to the right side.”
On the bullpen ending a streak of 27 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings: “It’s been really, really good. We had opportunities tonight. Certainly (Billy) Hamilton’s play off the ball Rendy (Anthony Rendon) hit was a great play. But those opportunities are out there. We had them tonight, and we just didn’t come through.”
On Hamilton and Brandon Phillips both making diving, game-saving catches in extras: “It’s the game. It’s the way it goes. All you can do is hit it. Sometimes you wish you could steer it after you hit it, but that doesn’t happen. They made a couple nice plays.”
On Frandsen and Scott Hairston coming in to pinch-hit in the ninth off Aroldis Chapman and having to face triple-digit heat: “It’s never easy, whether it’s sitting over there for nine innings and facing somebody who’s not (throwing) 100 mph. It’s never easy, but they put together a couple of really nice at-bats there against a really tough closer. And at that point we’ve got to try and tie that game. They came through.”
On how the team adjusts when facing the speed that Hamilton brings: “There’s some adjustments that are made in the infield. Certainly the corners are in when he’s at the plate because he does bunt a lot and he does run well. And when he gets on base, he’s disruptive.”