May 23, 2010, 1:43 AM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Josh Willingham and others were supportive of Nyjer Morgan despite his mistake.
It could have been a defining moment in the worst possible way, the moment the Nationals' positive season turned south for good. Nyjer Morgan's inexplicable reaction after failing to catch Adam Jones' fourth-inning drive to center — resulting in an inside-the-park home run for the Orioles — could have left the manager seething, the clubhouse divided and (most importantly) could have led to the Nats' eighth loss in nine games.
But it didn't. The manager, while initially upset, elected not to make a rash decision and bench Morgan. The clubhouse universally stood by him and offered up words of encouragement and support. And instead of letting this game get away from them, the Nationals strung together a late rally and pulled off a 7-6 victory that was sorely needed by everyone in uniform.
"Today was probably the biggest win of the season so far, as far as a little bit of a morale boost," said Adam Dunn, whose two-run single in the sixth proved to be the game-winner.
There were plenty of things to like about this game. Dunn's clutch hit, resulting in only his sixth and seventh RBI of the season off a left-hander, was tops on the list. Roger Bernadina and Michael Morse each had big hits earlier in the sixth to ignite the rally. Tyler Walker, Sean Burnett, Tyler Clippard and Matt Capps combined to allow one Baltimore player to reach base in 3 2/3 innings of sparkling relief.
But this one will forever be remembered for the bizarre play by Morgan in the top of the fourth, one that left the crowd of 30,290 booing the energetic center fielder and left Jim Riggleman contemplating a mid-game benching that would only have riled up theRead more »
NL EAST STANDINGS
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Orioles at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
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