The Nationals’ winning streak hit double digits. And, of course, win No. 10 came on a walk-off.
What else would you expect?
The Nats notched their 10th straight win on their fifth walk-off in their last six games. They are the first team to have five walk-off wins in a six-game span since the 1986 Astros, according to Elias.
This win means that at some point, Matt Williams will have to follow through on his promise to do his Babe Ruth impersonation. The Nats’ skipper agreed to break out the Babe impression if the Nats won 10 in a row this season, and they reached that mark.
The impersonation won’t happen now, Williams says, but it will eventually.
Here’s Williams on the win and when we might see him imitate The Babe:
On the walk-off: “We had a lot of opportunity today. Didn’t happen for us until the last inning, but just gotta keep pressing. Gio (Gonzalez) pitched really well, Matt (Thornton) pitched really well, (Rafael Soriano) pitched really well. Gave us an opportunity today to come up with a run. We had a lot of opportunities early.”
On winning 10 straight: “Those are pretty few and far between for any team. But it’s not surprising the way that they prepare and the way they go about it every day. If you do that, then you give yourself an opportunity to win. So it starts with their preparation on an everyday basis. They do that. So they have opportunities every day.”
On when the Babe Ruth impersonation will happen: “Well, as in any situation with games or any of that, timing is important. (laughter) What? Timing is important, so I wouldn’t imagine that right now is the proper time. It’s probably not appropriate. But in some form or fashion, at some point, probably in the privacy of some stadium somewhere, we’ll bring it out again. I don’t know when that will be.”
On when he’s done the impersonation last: “I haven’t done it since the last time I did it, but a promise is a promise. At some point, somewhere ... I can’t tell you when that will be, but at some point. And you and I are going to get to be real close friends, because if you let this out of the bag ... at some point.”
On whether he thought this was possible when he made the agreement: “Anything’s possible. In this game, especially. Anything’s possible. You make the promise, you’ve got to live to it. So it will happen somewhere, somehow.”
On why he won’t do the impression in the near future: “It’s not appropriate. You talk to folks and you say, ‘Hey, boy, sure we’d like to win 10 in a row.’ But at some point it will be fun and appropriate, but not right now.”
On Denard Span stealing second base in the ninth when everyone knows he’s looking to steal: “Well, knowing that everybody knows, especially (Kirk Gibson) and the Diamondbacks know he’s going to try and get in scoring position there. (Evan Marshall) was quick to the plate, he picked a good pitch to go on - slider - so he had a little extra time, and that might’ve made the difference. Pretty good throw. He’s less than 1.3 (seconds) to the plate, so he got a good jump and he had a good slide. The slide’s important. Everybody knows at some point it’s going to be off to the races at second, and he did a nice job of getting there.”
On if he felt like the Nats would push across a run at one point, despite the runners left on: “Well, Wade Miley is a pretty good pitcher. He made really good pitches today, especially on Adam (LaRoche). You know, it’s tough against him. He knows what he’s doing out there and he competes. Gibby pushed him a long way today to try to get him through, but you never know. You can have a blooper or you can hit a ball right on the money at somebody. You just don’t know, so you just have to keep providing those opportunities to the guys that come to the plate. Sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn’t, but if we do that enough then we’ll get a real good chance of scoring one somewhere in there.”
On whether the Nats’ starting pitching has been overlooked lately: “Of course. You have to get to that point where you can have a walk-off, which means that you have to be in the game. Our pitchers have certainly kept us there. Today was another example. Gio, and we talked about it before the game, the ability to land the curveball and he did that. It just makes him so much more effective. If we didn’t have to hit for him in that regard, we could have probably sent him back out. He pitched really good. They compete every day and keep us in game so that we have an opportunity to do the things that have happened over the last week. If you’re not in those games, that never comes to you.”
On him seeming very calm during all this: “I’ve experienced a lot in my time in baseball, certainly not as much as other folks, but I understand the importance of appreciating what you have and working hard to get what you want. That’s important to me and it’s important to those guys. That’s how we approach it. I love to see them do well. I love to see Sori come back and have two good outings. I love to see Harp getting some hits. I love to see them excited on the field after a win. That’s important to me. My job is to guide them and to help them do that. So that’s gratifying, but I refuse to, I absolutely refuse to get too far one way or the other because it doesn’t work for me and it won’t work for our team.”
On if Jayson Werth is OK: “He’s good. It was right off the shin bone, so he’s fine. That’s a stinger that gets for a little while, but he’s okay. It will be a little sore tomorrow, I’m sure. No issues.”