NEW YORK - It certainly wasn’t pretty.
The Nationals made three errors and needed to work their way out of bases-loaded, one-out jams in both the seventh and ninth innings.
Yet they still managed to come away with a tight 3-2 win over the Mets, securing a series win and giving themselves a shot at a sweep tomorrow night.
Asdrubal Cabrera hit a much-needed solo homer in the top of the eighth to give the Nats a 3-1 lead and made a tremendous catch that left him tumbling over the fence down the right field line in the bottom half of the inning.
Drew Storen came on with one out and the sacks packed in the seventh and left them loaded.
Here are quotes from the clubhouse after the game:
Matt Williams on the sloppy defense: “Some miscues tonight. The ball hit to Rochie (Adam LaRoche), he was gonna catch it in the air then decided not to catch it in the air and got it deep and it got by him. Franny just misplayed a ball in left. And the pickoff throw, a little mix-up in signals there. But they’re resilient. Mistakes are made sometimes, and you have to overcome them.”
Williams on Soriano’s ninth: “Just the ball up in the zone. Up-middle. The homer, he missed location, and then both base hits up the middle, missed location. Just a little off. Regular work is key for guys, but sometimes in the closer’s role, you don’t get it. We were able to hold on.”
Williams on bringing the infield halfway in with one out and the bases loaded in the ninth: “They’re halfway. They’re not all the way in. We want to give them some range, because a base hit loses the game for you. So Desi made a nice play, came and got the ball, and threw a strike to Wilson at the plate.”
Wilson on Storen’s big performance: “He’s our guy. He’s been the guy all year. He’s got strikeout pitches. He can get a strikeout there if we need it. We want to go to him in that situation regardless, because he’s our seventh-inning guy. Generally, we’d like to start the inning with him, but Zim (Jordan Zimmermann) was, pitch count was so low that we wanted him to get through that one, as well. Didn’t work out that way, but Drew made some good pitches.”
Williams on Cabrera offensively of late: “He’s hitting the ball the other way. So his approach is right. He got a slider tonight that he hit over the fence, but we’ve seen three or four base hits the other way. And that’s key for him. He’s comfortable in the two-hole. He won’t be there all the time, but he’s comfortable there, too. So that allows him to relax a little bit.”
Williams on Mets starter Bartolo Colon: “He paints. He can throw the ball on the corners at any time. He pounds strikes, and you want to be aggressive, but you don’t want to be overly aggressive. He made good pitches all night until the inning we got him, and we put some good at-bats on him.”
Zimmermann on the defensive issues behind him: “Stuff like that happens. The ball to Rochie was a hard-hit ball and he just told me he wasn’t sure if he should play it in the air or on a hop and it kind of caught him in-between. You’ve just got to pick your teammates up in spots like that.”
Zimmermann on how he felt as the seventh inning was playing out: “The fastball was good all night and I was able to move it in and out. Finally got (Daniel) Murphy out, so that was good. Stuck with the fastball on him all night. Best location I’ve had with that all year. Slider was good. I didn’t throw any changeups and a few curveballs, but kept them off-balance for the most part.”
Kevin Frandsen on how nice it was to atone for his error with the sac fly in the seventh: “I think it’s a pretty easy answer on that. You can dig yourself a hole or you can be a man and step up when the team needs it. It was an unfortunate play. You just drop it. It’s not being lazy or anything, just dropped it. That stuff happens. But Jordan picked me up, the other guys picked me up.”
Frandsen on that at-bat against Colon: “I thought I saw him pretty well. He’s been great for the last couple years. It’s one of those things where you have to clear your mind and do something with it. I don’t know if you’re trying to look for one pitch because the ball’s moving all over the place. But I was fortunate and got the ball up in the air and Desi scored.”
Frandsen on Storen’s outing: “That’s our ‘pen. And Drew’s a huge piece of that. Drew’s been so reliable and again, you have to look at the starter and what he did all night. He was so great and he kept us in the ballgame even though the defense behind him wasn’t doing what we normally do. Drew came in and made some great pitches, there’s not one pitch that was a hit-me pitch.”
Cabrera on his eighth-inning homer off Jeurys Familia: “He was really aggressive with the fastball early in the count. And he gave me a strike and I just tried to hit the ball to the gap.”
Cabrera on whether he knew how much ground he had to cover on the catch down the right field line in the eighth: “It’s something you not think about. I just try to make the play.”
Cabrera on how tough a play that is: “I’m just looking for the ball. I know the wall was little, not too high. I just try to get the ball and make the out.”