What was looking like a quiet 5-2 victory suddenly turned a bit more interesting in the bottom of the ninth, when Rafael Soriano issued two two-out walks and Daniel Murphy sent a fly ball high to right field.
Quite a finish.
The Nationals escaped with the victory, one that might have caused manager Matt Williams to sprout a few gray hairs if he didn’t shave his head.
Here’s the skipper after the win:
On if he thought Murphy’s fly ball was going out: “When he first hit it, I thought it had a chance, yeah. It didn’t sound like he got it crisp off the bat, but it carried really well. So there was a chance, yeah.”
On how tough Werth’s catch was: “It’s not easy. You’re trying to make sure you get back there and make a play. They do it enough to know that once they step on the track how much room they’ve got. But it’s never easy.”
On what he’s thinking when Soriano issued the back-to-back walks with two outs: “Well, he’s our closer. We’re confident he’ll get the next guy out, but Murph’s been one of their hottest hitters as of late. And he’s one of their best hitters overall. So it’s not comfortable when he’s at the plate with the chance to tie the game. But it’s a game of inches sometimes. He didn’t quite get enough of it.”
On what he thought of Tanner Roark’s outing, in which he allowed two runs in five innings: “For the most part, good. He gave up that double to E.Y. (Eric Young Jr.) and kind of from that moment on, he was a little bit up in the zone, a little erratic with his command. After the fifth, it set up perfect for Det (Ross Detwiler) to face the three lefties and then we were able to get to the bullpen. He threw a lot of pitches in that first inning, though. Early on, it was good. And then it kinda left him a little bit.”
On getting to go to Detwiler in the sixth, Drew Storen in the seventh, Tyler Clippard in the eighth and Soriano in the ninth: “Yeah, it set up really nice. Again, Det got ... there was a base hit to the second hitter, but he made a really nice pitch for the double play. Danny (Espinosa) made a nice play on it to run the guy at first base back to first base and then get the ball over there in time to force him and then we had the rundown. That’s just a good play by Danny, but a really nice pitch by Det, too.”