They don’t call Ryan Zimmerman “Mr. Walk-off” without good reason. He’s got 11 walk-off homers to his credit, and the notion of coming through in the clutch with the game on the line isn’t a foreign concept to the longtime Nationals slugger, who has announced he will sit out the 2020 season over concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.
Well, the next best thing to seeing Zimmerman walk off an opponent live is seeing it on MASN - and that’s where this week’s slate of walk-off-heavy “Nationals Classics” comes into play.
If you like walk-offs, you’ll want to pay close attention to this week’s offerings. Yes, Zimmerman is represented - and in grand fashion. But so are other past Nationals.
So for all of those who like to save the best for last, MASN is your place this week!
Thursday, July 9 - 3:30 p.m. - We promised you some spectacular feats from “Mr. Walk-off” and this game from Aug. 19, 2011 certainly qualifies. The Phillies cruised into the bottom of the ninth with a 4-2 lead and closer Ryan Madson on the mound. Well, there was no save. Madson recorded only one out and the Nats tied it on RBI singles by Jonny Gomes and Ian Desmond. But the Nats weren’t done. Zimmerman stepped to the plate with the sacks full and hit a full-count offering deep down the left field line for a walk-off grand slam.
Friday, July 10 - 1 p.m. - Jayson Werth was supposed to be enjoying a day off on Aug. 14, 2014, but the game against the Pirates dictated otherwise. Werth came off the bench in the ninth to draw a pinch-hit walk and score the tying run on Asdrúbal Cabrera’s run-scoring single. Then, in the 11th, Werth doubled and scored the game-winner on Scott Hairston’s walk-off sacrifice fly for a 6-5 Nationals victory.
Saturday, July 11 - 3:30 p.m. - Seven was most definitely a lucky number on April 19, 2016, when the Nats traveled to Miami to face the Marlins. The visitors scored all of their runs in a 7-0 triumph in the seventh inning. But all the scoring came on four homers by the Nats - solo shots by Werth and Wilson Ramos, a Bryce Harper grand slam and Zimmerman’s solo blast.
Saturday, July 11 - 11 p.m. - Our late-night half of a Saturday doubleheader switches the focus to pitching, specifically Stephen Strasburg’s return from Tommy John surgery on Sept. 6, 2011 against the Dodgers. Though the visitors from Los Angeles claimed a 7-3 win, Strasburg worked five scoreless innings and allowed just two hits while fanning four. The Dodgers scored twice against Henry Rodríguez in the eighth and twice off Yuniesky Maya in the ninth to snap a 3-3 standoff.
Sunday, July 12 - 11:30 a.m. - Continuing our walk-off theme, on April 21, 2015, newcomer Yunel Escobar turned the trick in a 2-1 victory over the Cardinals on South Capitol Street. With two down in the 11th, Escobar stepped to the plate against Carlos Villanueva and lined a walk-off homer to left-center.
Monday, July 13 - 9 a.m. - You never forget your first, and it’s a good bet Harper won’t soon forget this June 5, 2012 game against the Mets. That’s the night he notched his first career walk-off hit, capping a two-run 12th inning with a single off Elvin Ramírez for a 7-6 Nationals triumph.
Wednesday, July 15 - 11:59 p.m. - Just before the stroke of midnight, you can settle into your recliner or sofa and enjoy this Nationals comeback against the Diamondbacks from April 17, 2005, during the Nationals’ first homestand at RFK Stadium. The Nats scored six times in the seventh off Mike Koplove, with Nick Johnson tripling home a pair, Brian Schneider singling in a run, Cristian Guzmán walking with the bases loaded and José Vidro adding a two-run single. That explosion was sufficient for a 7-3 Washington win.