Final Score: Nationals 5, Mets 4
Dame of the Game:
Tyler Moore: 1-4, HR, R, RBI, K. After striking out with the tying run on third in the 9th, Moore seemed destined to do the same with the winning run on third in the 10th. Thanks to a timely wild pitch, we’ll never know if he would have. The hypothetical outcome of that at-bat will go down with the other great counterfactuals of history, like “what would have happened if Hitler had gotten into art school” and “what would have happened if Tyler Moore hadn’t struck out his previous time up.”
Shame of the Game:
Tyler Clippard: 1 IP, 3 ER, 3 H, 2 K, BS. All good things must come to an end, and Clippard’s consecutive save streak since becoming the Nats full time closer is apparently no exception. I know that’s a fundamental fact of the universe what with the passage of time and inevitability of death and all that, but still. I really thought this one had a chance to be the one good thing that lasts for eternity. Oh well.
Last night was not the first time this year that the Nats have defeated the Mets in a dramatic, lead-changing, blown-saves-filled game this year. But it was the only time that that happened when it was also last night. Thus, I am contractually obligated to write about it now, assuming you count shouting “I PROMISE TO WRITE A GAME RECAP EVERY OTHER GAME FOR THE WHOLE YEAR” three times in a row while grabbing The Giology Professor’s ears to be a contract. Which you totally would if you were a lawyer. Anyway, here goes.
This game was basically the platonic ideal of a 2012 Nationals game for precisely eight innings. Seven shutout innings by Ross “The Anti-Wang” Detwiler, limited but sufficient offense, and Brad Lidge nowhere to be seen.
Then Tyler Clippard came in, and “the shit” and “the fan” were joined in holy matrimony. Clippard gave up a three-run, go-ahead home run to Jordany Valdespin, maybe. The ball definitely ended up on the field and not in the stands, but after video-reviewing the play the umpires decided that it had hit a fan and would have gone into the seats if no human flesh had interfered with its path. While that fan didn’t necessarily cause the home run, he certainly might have. He’s fortunate the Nats won the game, otherwise it would have been a long, pitchfork-and-torch-filled night for Bald Man in a Striped Shirt.
BM in a SS’s life and family were saved by, shockingly enough, Danny Espinosa, who is more accustomed to ending lives by causing people to not be able to bear to live in a world with his depressingly bad hitting. Espinosa’s two-out, two-strike, game-tying single sent the affair to the 10th, where Mike Gonzalez promptly reminded everyone that he is a meaty ocher. Meteor cur. Mead, E Oak, Ur. Oh! Mediocre. Got it. Yeah, he gave up a run.
Thankfully, Bryce Harper isn’t any of those things. Harper sliced a ball off the right field wall in the bottom of the 10th for a game-tying triple. The hit was pretty much the best thing since sliced bread, which is not surprising since all the best things are sliced. (The best thing before sliced bread was sliced tomatoes. The best thing before that was the sliced-off ears of your enemies that you wore on a necklace…a more barbaric time.)
Enter Pedro Beato, who sort of lived up to the Latin derivation of his surname. Assuming his family is named that because they are all “blessed” with the ability to throw wild pitches. Or maybe the originator of that family name picked it ironically. Either way, he lost the game.
Sounds like an occasion for a song!