MILWAUKEE - That ballgame have enough for ya?
Tremendous pitching, sparkling defensive plays, gutty efforts from guys on both ballclubs. It was one of those games you hate to see one team lose.
Fortunately for the Nationals, they weren’t that one team tonight.
The Nats pulled out a 4-2, 16-inning win over the Brewers tonight, and they got contributions from throughout the roster. Anthony Rendon tied the game in the eighth with a solo homer to the opposite field. The bullpen worked 10 scoreless innings, four of which were by Ross Detwiler, who threw all fastballs tonight and still was able to dominate Brewers hitters. Ian Desmond, Denard Span, Jayson Werth and Ryan Zimmerman turned in Web Gems.
Oh yeah, and Zimmerman crushed a two-run homer in the top of the 16th to finally give one team a lead in extra innings.
Five hours, 22 minutes was the time of game. And if you’re a fan of good baseball, you enjoyed all of it.
Here’s Nationals manager Matt Williams afterwards:
On Detwiler’s outing: “Det was above and beyond tonight. Going in, we had some guys that were feeling it, so we didn’t want to go to them. Turned out, we had to. But Det was fantastic. He really stretched it for us.”
On how dangerous things were getting there towards the end in terms of running out of pitchers: “It was (Adam LaRoche). If we didn’t score there, it was Rochie. I told him after his at-bat (in the 16th) to get to the cage and make sure he throws a little bit. Turned out, we scored. So big homer by Zim.”
On LaRoche, who has long had a desire to pitch in a big league game, not getting that chance: “I’m certain that he’s OK with not having to pitch. But that’s just one of those games. We had a chance to double-switch when we brought (Craig Stammen) in, but he’s thrown so many games the last week that we don’t want to take him past an inning, either. Det really stepped up.”
On the state of the bullpen for tomorrow: “We’re gassed, yeah. (Craig) Stammen’s OK. (Jerry Blevins) is OK. Certainly (Rafael Soriano) is OK. But yeah, it’s gassed.”
On whether a roster move will need to be made to add a fresh arm: “We’ll see. We’ll see how everybody is once the rave stops. We’ll talk to everybody tonight and see what we’ve got.”
On guys battling for 16 innings: “I have no idea. It’s good when you win. If you lose games like this, it’s really tough. Still, it’s taxing on everybody. So we’ll have to look at our lineup tomorrow, we’ll have to look at our bullpen, see where we’re at.”
On Zimmerman’s homer: “We’ve been scratching and clawing and trying to get a run across. And we’ve had some opportunities, But that’s a big swing for us right there. These guys are tough, tough to play here. They’re really good at home. So to get this one was important.”
On twice intentionally walking Jonathan Lucroy in extras to get to Carlos Gomez: “He’s one of the best hitters in the league. It’s an opportunity to potentially get around him. We had to pick our poison there.”
On if he considered then intentionally walking Gomez both times to load the bases: “I didn’t want to put Det in that situation. He’s taxed already, and to put him in a situation where he’s got no wiggle room to make a pitch, I didn’t want to put him in that spot.”
On Rendon lately: “He understands, I think, what the opposition is going to try to do, and they’re certainly not gonna beat him to his pull-side. So he just stayed on a ball and hit it to right-center. Gomez made a nice effort for it, but just out of his reach.”