Skip to content

To the 27th out

Jun 22, 2011, 5:09 AM EDT

Associated Press photo
Wilson Ramos leaps into a sea of teammates at the plate.

The ball connected off Wilson Ramos’ bat with such force, nobody inside Nationals Park — not Ramos, not his teammates, not the crowd of 21,502, not the Mariners — had any doubt where it was headed.

“I didn’t even look to see where it went,” Jayson Werth said. “You hear that noise and see the trajectory, and you know right away.”

Ramos certainly knew. Immediately upon crushing David Pauley’s 84-mph change-up Tuesday night, the rookie catcher thrust his right arm into the air and admired his handiwork.

“I know that ball was in the stands,” he said.

Actually, it was beyond the stands. Ramos’ three-run homer finally crashed back to earth next to a picnic table in front of the Red Porch restaurant beyond the left-center field fence, some 425 feet from the batter’s box. A titanic blast to cap a titanic comeback: a five-run rally
Read more

  1. Section 222 - Jun 22, 2011 at 5:24 AM

    Somehow I knew your gamer would be a gem Mark. Worth staying up for. Thanks! That was one heckuva win. The reaction in the ballpark was one of pure joy, and complete surprise.

  2. Andrew - Jun 22, 2011 at 5:33 AM

    Isn't that title "To the 26th out"? MLB Network is saying greatest comeback of the season. They flashed up some cool stats on comebacks of 4 or more runs in a comeback in the 9th inning or later and won on 2 outs. It was done once last year, once in 2009 and twice in 2010.

  3. Grandstander - Jun 22, 2011 at 6:54 AM

    Definitely one to remember. When Werth's little roller went through Smoak's legs I turned to my girlfriend and said it reminded me of Buckner. I had no idea how apt that would be at the time.The whole thing caught me totally off guard. I never leave early, unless there's an emergency, but mentally I'll admit I had kinda left the game. Then all of a sudden, it just happened. Probably no one feels better about it than Zim, who has 3 dps including 2 clutch ones.I know I, and probably some others here, thought today's game would be important, to see how we bounced back from the streak-ending loss. Well, how else?? I think Mark took the words from my mouth, "Holy cow. Wilson Ramos: 3-run homer. Nats win, 6-5. Holy cow." I know I did my best Carpy "SEE.YOU.LATER" impression not knowing he wasn't calling the game. And that's the version that will stand in my head. "Waiter, there's a fly ball in my soup."

  4. Anonymous - Jun 22, 2011 at 7:13 AM

    I did the See. You. Later! thing at home when I was watching the game on tv lol.Gonna be at the game tomorrow night and I hope do mutter it to myself more than a couple times!

  5. Unkyd - Jun 22, 2011 at 10:28 AM

    Clip, Burn, HRod, Matheus, Ballystar, Kimball, Coffey…. More in the wings… Is anybody still thinking, in the back of their mind, about Storen as #3 in the rotation? Getting crowded in the pen, and shut with 5 pitches, heat and command, might save us the trouble of shopping for a frontline guy…Jes' thinking….GO NATS!!!!!

  6. Unkyd - Jun 22, 2011 at 10:30 AM

    Shut?! A guy…. A guy with…..

  7. The Great Unwashed - Jun 22, 2011 at 10:47 AM

    In addition to Zim's poor night at the plate, Ramos was 0-3 on the night and had dropped a throw from Werth earlier in the game that probably would have prevented a run from scoring… which made it all the more sweeter when he blasted a walk-off into the stands.I still can't figure out why the Mariners took Fister out of the game. He had dominated Washington's line up for eight solid innings, had recorded his first major league hit and RBI, and was cruising. If he's in there in the 9th, the Nats lose the game. That's where rigidly following a pitch count comes back to bite you. And I'll take it!

  8. NatsNut - Jun 22, 2011 at 11:01 AM

    I love how Tough Guy Jayson Werth was bouncing around Ramos like Tigger.

  9. DurNat - Jun 22, 2011 at 11:09 AM

    Did anyone else turn off the TV in disgust with 2 outs in the 9th after Zim's third GIDP of the game, only to miss the highlight of this Nationals' season?Wish I'd seen it…

  10. Joe Seamhead - Jun 22, 2011 at 11:21 AM

    What a comeback. How much fun have these guys been for the past few of weeks?The 8-6 comeback against the Cards was sweet as pie, but this one was just flat out storybook! Heading down to the stadium again tonight. These guys are just getting better. Do we reach .500 tonight? Forward Ho!

  11. UNTERP.NAT - Jun 22, 2011 at 11:27 AM

    DurNat said… Admittedly, yes. I didn't find out the score until I sat at my desk and opened the Post paper. Literally, the bottom fold says "Ramos swings game Nat's way". At first glance I'm thinking, oh, this must be some special article about Ramos. I opened up the full page looking for the game article, only after realizing the "Ramos" article was the game article. I was literally (again) bewildered. Then I read the sub-heading "Two-out, three-run homer caps rally in ninth as Washington stuns Seattle". Unbelievable…

  12. Tim - Jun 22, 2011 at 11:29 AM

    Mark… I love the clubhouse reaction from the quartet. I laughed out loud at Balestar's comment. One to remember, to be sure. As Ramos rounded third and came to home plate, I said, "We don't deserve to win this one!" I was in shock. We had been dominated by Fister.BTW, Ramos trotted pretty darn slow. I wonder if he'll get plunked.This reminds me of the magic of 2005.

  13. natsfan1a - Jun 22, 2011 at 11:36 AM

    No, but I did utter a choice word or two at the time. Also, I had the same thoughts as Tim re. Ramos' rounding of the bases."Did anyone else turn off the TV in disgust with 2 outs in the 9th after Zim's third GIDP of the game, only to miss the highlight of this Nationals' season?"

  14. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 22, 2011 at 11:39 AM

    I'd like to go back to a play that stopped a Mariners rally in the first inning. It's that "Mackey Sasser" throw that Zim put right on the money to Livan to complete a double play.

  15. Unkyd - Jun 22, 2011 at 11:57 AM

    Unkyd said…Clip, Burn, HRod, Matheus, Ballystar, Kimball, Coffey…. More in the wings… Is anybody still thinking, in the back of their mind, about Storen as #3 in the rotation? Getting crowded in the pen, and shut with 5 pitches, heat and command, might save us the trouble of shopping for a frontline guy…Maybe more to the point: maybe we go shopping for a FOURTH #1 for the rotation… Drew is proving to be MONEY as closer, but we have, it seems, many more options there, than for immediate ('12) ace starters…I know…. I'm a silly boy….."Tigger Werth"…. A t-shirt, waiting to happen….

  16. UNTERP.NAT - Jun 22, 2011 at 12:02 PM

    natsfan1a said… Rub it in, it feels so good…

  17. MicheleS - Jun 22, 2011 at 12:02 PM

    Unkyd.. Not a silly boy, just an optimistic fan!!!Go to the MLB.com Mariners site and listen to the Seattle broadcasters.. IT IS GREAT!! Finally someone else gets pummelled! Their broadcasters reactions are CLASSIC.. Then switch over to the Nats sight and hear Johnny/Charlie's call of the game. Can't think of a better way to start out the morning.Anyone want to get the Klaxon as the sound their alarm makes to wake them up in the morning!!! I LOVE THAT SOUND!!!!

  18. Unkyd - Jun 22, 2011 at 12:08 PM

    Very sweet, NarsJack! Just went back and watched… Essentially the same type of toss he trees over Espy's head, the other day. And, re: Sasser's yips… That was only tossing back to the pitcher, was it not? Which make the comparison even more anonsensical than it seemed, no?

  19. Anonymous - Jun 22, 2011 at 12:11 PM

    I don't know about an alarm – but ai was thinking of a ring tone…

  20. Big Cat - Jun 22, 2011 at 12:19 PM

    Looking at the replay of Espi's 9th inning single, it sure looks like the Mariners had the dreaded "No doubles" in play. In other words, nothing gets down the line so both corner infielders hug the line. Can't stand that play. It cost the Mariners the ballgame.

  21. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 22, 2011 at 12:19 PM

    Unkyd…. that's why I have a hard time figuring out what makes me laugh more… our sly rebuttals or the source?

  22. SayNoToClint - Jun 22, 2011 at 12:23 PM

    One of the most satisfying nights I've had at the ballpark by far.Between the storm that tried oh so hard to delay the game, the annoying kids in front of me that couldn't stay in their seat for more than 2 pitches, and the mediocre (at best) performance the first 8 innings, I was close to hitting the road more than once.I'm so glad I didn't. I think the roar when Ramos made contact was the loudest I've ever heard at a Nats game, including Strasburg's first start. Mark was right: everyone in the park knew it was gone.

  23. baseballswami - Jun 22, 2011 at 12:28 PM

    I feel that I must confess to my fellow nats fans – I, also, was seriously contemplating turning off the tv and giving up on the team. Maybe the last week or so has had an effect on me, because I decided to watch until the end. I was happy to see that the team had not rolled over – BUT – this was a total and delightful surprise. It was nice to see some of the guys who are usually kind of reserved, Zim and Werth – just acting giddy. They were high-fiving and jumping around – and , gulp, Riggleman actually smiled – I know – it's tough to imagine if you haven't actually seen it – but he did. Another lesson of this game – everything that happened in the previous innings, every out, that 1 run, every play set the stage for this win with 2 outs in the ninth.

  24. Cwj - Jun 22, 2011 at 12:34 PM

    Wow! I went to bed last night assuming that the Nats lost 5-1.Woke up this morning and turned on ESPN news.I can't believe it! I'm stunned!I really really wish I has stayed up to watch the walk off.Unkyd- Hmmm, I like Storen right where he is now as closer. I understand your thinking, but there's no way I would convert Storen into a starter. The current bullpen roles are one of the reasons the Nats are doing so well.GO NATS!!!!!

  25. N. Cognito - Jun 22, 2011 at 12:43 PM

    "I still can't figure out why the Mariners took Fister out of the game."Fister did not look dominating to me. Looked more like the Nats offense of earlier in the season – lots of bad at bats. That and a number of well hit balls right at people.

  26. UNTERP.NAT - Jun 22, 2011 at 12:46 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  27. UNTERP.NAT - Jun 22, 2011 at 12:49 PM

    I wanted to yelp this morning at work when I opened up the newspaper, but I was afraid they would have called the asylum, and even though I turned it off after two outs in the 9th, I swear I was hoping to open the newspaper this morning looking for a miracle, and there it was. To me this was just as thrilling opening the Post this morning than being there and seeing it on tv. I never gave up…

  28. m20832 - Jun 22, 2011 at 12:51 PM

    What a Glorious ninth inning! Way to Roll Nats!

  29. UNTERP.NAT - Jun 22, 2011 at 12:55 PM

    Forget 2012, forget 2013. Right now, right now, do you believe in miracles?

  30. Slidell - Jun 22, 2011 at 1:17 PM

    "In the 6 1/2 years since they arrived in town, the Nationals had never rallied from more than two runs down in the ninth inning to win."Hmmm; I seem to remember about 3 years ago, last game of the season, when Justin Maxwell hit a grand-slam with 2 outs in the ninth against the Mets 3 runs down, to win. That blow bought Justin an extra year of chances "to figure it out".I will admit that I also had given up on them last night.

  31. Mr Old Style - Jun 22, 2011 at 1:27 PM

    A Team Effort, Not Just a Zimm AffectI didn't like how media reports played up Zimm's return and suggested that the winning streak was a result of his return. Yes, Zimm is a big part of this team. The face of the franchise but this team is winning as a team. I think the media coverage took away from what the team was doing. It sure was fun to jump up an down in the stands last night. Everybody was beaming on their way out. Good to see that in Nats Town!

  32. FS - Jun 22, 2011 at 1:29 PM

    They were down by two runs, going into the ninth in that game. Final score 7-4 after Maxwell's GS.

  33. m20832 - Jun 22, 2011 at 1:30 PM

    UNTERP.NAT said… Forget 2012, forget 2013. Right now, right now, do you believe in miracles? June 22, 2011 8:55 AM I BELIEVE!!! I BELIEVE!!!!

  34. THE FAT LADY - Jun 22, 2011 at 1:40 PM

    The game ain't over until Ramos swings!

  35. Jacques - Jun 22, 2011 at 1:40 PM

    One of the best parts of the game (outside the win) was 21K+ attendance on a Tuesday night game vs. Seattle. If they can get another decent crowd tonight, and a bump from the students on break (at least 16-17K) tomorrow afternoon, they can stay above the 22K average. Then the numbers should really climb especially if the Nats are around (or even above .500). — 4th of July weekend (vs Pirates), always a crowd.–the Cubs coming to town, who (even when terrible) are a big draw)–another weekend series (vs. Colorado). This team is now winning almost 2/3's of their home games, and is becoming pretty darn entertaining to watch!

  36. Slidell - Jun 22, 2011 at 1:48 PM

    FS: You're right. Memory plays tricks. Should never doubt Mark.

  37. Anonymous - Jun 22, 2011 at 1:48 PM

    Because of its long season, its history and traditions, baseball is probably the most karmic game. It seems that every action – good and bad – is balanced out somewhere down the line. That's why, unlike any other sport, averages and percentages mean so much within every game and from season to season. That's what sabermetricians & sportswriters are talking about with phrases like "regressing to the mean." Players and longtime fans instinctively know that and are a superstitious bunch. On September 17, 2005 the Nats were 4th in the NL East, 6 games over .500, just 2 games from 2nd and 2.5 games behind in the wildcard race. That night, they entered the bottom of the 9th in San Diego up 5-0 when the bottom fell out. A succession of pitchers, culminating with All-Star closer Chad Cordero (46 saves to that point) allowed the Padres to tie, and when the Nats walked off 8-5 losers in the 12th, the season effectively ended. Cordero would earn only one more save, the team finished 4-10 after that, and the playoff flirtation, the winning season, hopes of finishing out of the cellar, all evaporated. It's fair to say that since September 17 – except for the rare moment, like spoiling the Mets' season & finishing 4th in '07, the Zimmerman blast on Opening Night at Nats Park and Strasmas – the Nats have had very bad karma. On and off the field, from the ownership to the medical staff, to everyone who pulled on a uni and checked to make sure the spelling was correct, if something could go wrong, it would. Good stuff never lasted (Tommy John surgery, anyone?) and bad stuff only got worse (see fielding/pitching). As great as the Chief was for this franchise, and as much as I enjoyed and respected what he did as a Nat, the San Diego meltdown marked the beginning of a long, long slide and – fair or not – he was the guy standing on the mound when it went down. So after several unsuccessful comeback attempts, the Chief announces this week he's retiring. And in their very first game after his announcement, the Nats score 5 runs in the bottom of the 9th for their most dramatic win ever. Like I said, it may not be fair, but if you believe in karma, maybe it's the Nats' time.

  38. Water23 - Jun 22, 2011 at 1:56 PM

    All week, I catch an inning here and an inning there on TV and the streak continues. Then I go to the game on Sunday and they struggle and lose. Then last night, I catch a little of the sixth and then put the wee ones to bed. When I am done, I turn back on the TV and the Nats are hitting in the bottom of the ninth.I may never be allowed in the park again!What a great way to pick up where they left off last week. Go Nats.

  39. natsfan1a - Jun 22, 2011 at 1:58 PM

    m20832 said…Can I get an amen? UNTERP.NAT said… Forget 2012, forget 2013. Right now, right now, do you believe in miracles? June 22, 2011 8:55 AM I BELIEVE!!! I BELIEVE!!!! June 22, 2011 9:30 AM

  40. natsfan1a - Jun 22, 2011 at 2:03 PM

    Fudge. Actually I said the amen part. Cut and paste fail.Slidell, my memory was playing tricks on me, too. I was at the Maxwell game, and someone it *felt* like we were more than 2 runs. Maybe because of the salami?Jacques, re. attendance: Last time I checked, there were two single ticket specials running for Thursday – a kids' special and a senior special (the latter being online purchases only). Maybe that will help bump the figures, too. I'm doing my part as my hubby and I plan to be in attendance (shhh…we're both playing hooky).

  41. Natslifer - Jun 22, 2011 at 2:04 PM

    What an odd experience at the game last night and like several of you have said – potentially karmic on lots of levels.I too was barely paying attention to the game but having a really good time with my wife and our friends. We all got up to take a potty break when League was pulled and got back to the top of the stairs just as we started going again. We looked at each other and said "is it worth the trip back down??" – and boy was it ever. It is the same feeling that we had for a long time in the inaguaral season – and I believe it's going to continue for years to come.

  42. Cwj - Jun 22, 2011 at 2:05 PM

    Anon9:48- Good stuff, thanks for that.I'll always have fond memories of Cordero. I have a friend who (back then at least) bore a striking resemblance to the Chief.He started wearing his Nats cap with the flat brim and one could seriously think he was Chad himself :)Whenever he blew a save, my friend would wear a different cap :)

  43. masnstinks - Jun 22, 2011 at 2:05 PM

    An interesting mix of contributors in that last flurry of scoring – the highly paid free agent, the fof ( whose dp did actually move Werth to 3rd), the guy up and down from AAA, the late bloomer, the veteran bench player, and 2 rookies. Even the relief pitching, from Matheus to Coffey. What a total team effort. Last year if you had told me the nats walked off I would have just assumed it was zim. Now we have had Morse, Espi, Ramos – nice to see the load spread around.

  44. natsfan1a - Jun 22, 2011 at 2:07 PM

    Thursday ticket specials:http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/was/ticketing/specials.jspLoved the Chief and wish nothing but the best for him, wherever life takes him.

  45. Water23 - Jun 22, 2011 at 2:07 PM

    The Nats are looking terrific and may even make a run at the playoffs this year but I feel we should send Mr. Rizzo a note such as – Dear Mike, Please be careful with our many solid minor league assets. We are trending up and I would love to see us make a playoff run but remember "Colon"! Grady, Brandon and Cliff would have looked very nice in Nats uniforms so please stay the course.Sincerely,All Nats Fans

  46. Water23 - Jun 22, 2011 at 2:09 PM

    Nasfan1a,I agree with you on the Chief. He was one of the first lovable Nats. Thanks for all you did.

  47. Anonymous - Jun 22, 2011 at 2:19 PM

    A question for this very enlightened baseball audience: If we're still only a handful of games out of the wild card come mid-August, do they look to speed up Strasburg's return or Rendon or Harper's promotion to make sure they're in a "playoff push" atmosphere and/or be on a playoff roster?

  48. Navy Nats Fan - Jun 22, 2011 at 2:19 PM

    On the subject of karma, the only thing better would have been for Ramos to stroke just a base hit so Pudge (who was in the on-deck circle) could win the game in a walk-off on the 20th anniversary of his first major league game. They did a very nice video tribute during the pre-game, and a few between innings. Too bad he didn't get into the game – but I think he went home pretty happy!

  49. UNTERP.NAT - Jun 22, 2011 at 2:21 PM

    Anonymous said… 10:19 AMNO…

  50. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 22, 2011 at 2:46 PM

    Water, not to worry. Totally different circumstances.10:19, Unterp is right. No, no.

  51. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 22, 2011 at 3:00 PM

    OK so the question is do we bring up an 18 year old who's still learning the ropes in low "A" ball and a guy who's been DH'ing in college ball to lead us to the playoffs. And while we're at it, do we put our golden child pitcher, coming off TJ surgery in the most stressfull of situations and see how he fairs in his come back.You can't be serious.

  52. The Great Unwashed - Jun 22, 2011 at 3:09 PM

    N. Cognito,You're missing the point. I didn't say Fister's stuff was dominating. I said he had dominated Washington's line up. That much is true, and I still don't know why they took him out after eight innings and 99 pitches when he had tossed a three-hitter and was cruising. But I'll take it!

  53. A DC Wonk - Jun 22, 2011 at 3:11 PM

    Eckstein!Did anybody catch the article that said that Eckstein told Ramos right before the at bat: "he likes to get ahead on fastballs and then get you out with a change up?"Then he threw two fastballs — then the change-up that Ramos was 100% ready for. Bang. Zoom.

  54. Water23 - Jun 22, 2011 at 3:22 PM

    Agreed, No to rushing young players who might help a little but could retard their development long term and definitely no to rushing back the potential Ace of the staff. If we learned anything from the last few years (Flores etc) let 'em heal or wait even longer.

  55. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 22, 2011 at 3:26 PM

    A DC Wonk… I saw that, as well. There's so much that depends on the players ability to execute. What if Ramos fouled that pitch off? Thankfully, he didn't an Eck gets the acknowlegement he deserves.

  56. JaneB - Jun 22, 2011 at 3:32 PM

    Thanks For pointing out the Eckstein contribution…Riggleman gave him a shout out last njght. Agree with NatsJack that Zimm's toss to Livo at third to end the first inning was BEAUTIFUL. I was there when JMax hit that GS. It made it possible to leave the season with a lighter heart. But last night…wowowowowowow.Anon at 9:48…. Thanks for the writing about baseball karma. I believe in that i a new way. UNTERP, I believe too. GYFNG!

  57. The Joker - Jun 22, 2011 at 3:36 PM

    Everybody did their part. Even Matt Stairs. He cheered heartily when Ramos swung.

  58. still waiting.......... - Jun 22, 2011 at 3:43 PM

    i want to believe, i really want to believe……my toe is in the pool……

  59. Doc - Jun 22, 2011 at 3:47 PM

    MarkMeister, I loved the way you finished your great game writeup with a quote from Hernandez.Livo's like the Baseball Guru! I'd say he has a few books in him when he retires. Smartest and wisest player between the lines—and we wanted to pay Pavano 8X as muchto do what Hernandez is doing 8x better this season!

  60. MicheleS - Jun 22, 2011 at 3:48 PM

    Riggs: I haven't commented on Riggs at all.. That's mainly because I grew up a Cubs fan and well.. we know how that ended.But now I am willing to way in.. IF they take the option on him for next year.. I am okay with it. That's all for now and reserve the right to change my mind… ;-)

  61. Tim - Jun 22, 2011 at 3:49 PM

    You don't speed up Strasburg's return. Period. Rendon, won't sign until the deadline and Harper is still in low A. JZimm will be shut down once he hits his innings limit. If the nats are in the penant race / playoffs they have to do it with the players they have or buy at the deadline.

  62. Steve M. - Jun 22, 2011 at 4:05 PM

    DC Wonk, would love to read that article! Ramos just crushed that ball!!!!This young core of players is carrying this team. You have Ramos, Desmond, Espinosa, Bernadina, Jordan Zimmermann, Strasbug, and Storen under team control for at least 4 more years and Jayson Werth for 6 more years. Once Bryce Harper is ready, he will figure into the future as well.I would feel much better if Zim's contract was extended as well as Jason Marquis (short term) and while we are at it, Michael Morse!While Jason Marquis isn't part of the future in 3 years, he is a stabilizer until some of the younger arms in the system prove ready.Instead of the Nats going after expensive Free Agents like Prince Fielder, they should concentrate on tying up Zim and Morse long-term and Marquis short-term.

  63. Steve M. - Jun 22, 2011 at 4:09 PM

    Andrew said… Isn't that title "To the 26th out"? MLB Network is saying greatest comeback of the season. They flashed up some cool stats on comebacks of 4 or more runs in a comeback in the 9th inning or later and won on 2 outs. It was done once last year, once in 2009 and twice in 2010. June 22, 2011 1:33 AM That was done once in 2010, once in 2009 and twice in 2008.It was an epic comeback and like Grandstander said, totally Billy Buckner. Unreal. When Zim hit into that double play, you could almost hear the "fat lady" singing. We have a few pitchers on the the Nats staff that can commiserate with Fister on having a W vanish.Very enjoyable win!!!!

  64. Steve M. - Jun 22, 2011 at 4:16 PM

    Tim said… You don't speed up Strasburg's return. Period. Rendon, won't sign until the deadline and Harper is still in low A. JZimm will be shut down once he hits his innings limit. If the nats are in the penant race / playoffs they have to do it with the players they have or buy at the deadline. June 22, 2011 11:49 AM Perfectly said and while I am drinking my Kool-Aid, I am still looking for the 76 wins I predicted before Opening Day and anything over that would be great. I don't see playoffs but anything is possible. The Braves would have to fall apart and the Nats would have to play like they have since May 31st consistently and probably need 90 to 92 wins to solidify a Wild Card and that seems far-fetched.The progess with this team is great and while I over-analyze and hoped Rizzo would make some personnel changes, this team is just hitterish lately and getting the lucky bounces when they count the most.The team is getting incredible air-time too as everyone loves Walkoffs and WebGems!!!!

  65. Cwj - Jun 22, 2011 at 4:17 PM

    Steve M- I couldn't agree more.I still think it's a stretch to put the Nats in the Playoffs this season.But the way they are playing, I say keep the current team intact. I think it would be a shame to make a mid-season trade of any core member (which includes Marquis, IMO).This is by far the best team the Nats have fielded since well, arguably ever (even 2005).Go Nats!

  66. Steve M. - Jun 22, 2011 at 4:24 PM

    JaneB said… I was there when JMax hit that GS. It made it possible to leave the season with a lighter heart. But last night…wowowowowowow.GYFNG! June 22, 2011 11:32 AM I enjoyed the JMax Grandy Slamy too but lets face it, that ended up in the flower pots in left field barely over the wall and while that was fun, was one less loss on a crappy season.This HR could be significant in a season where the team could have dropped to 3 games under .500 and instead pushed to 1 game under .500 which is huge.Ramos, capped the most improbable comeback, which was a CRUSHING a no doubter Home Run that rocked the Red Porch. Someone said on impact the ball had so much force it moved a table!!!!RAMOS ROCKS RED PORCH!!!!

  67. Steve M. - Jun 22, 2011 at 4:26 PM

    The Joker said… Everybody did their part. Even Matt Stairs. He cheered heartily when Ramos swung. June 22, 2011 11:36 AM Now that is just too darn funny. Can't think just bite the bullet and make him a Coach?

  68. nicefellow31 - Jun 22, 2011 at 4:27 PM

    It is sure nice watching this team develop. The future is bright. BTW, I bet the Twins wish they had Ramos back since Mauer seems so injury prone.

  69. Steve M. - Jun 22, 2011 at 4:31 PM

    masnstinks said… An interesting mix of contributors in that last flurry of scoring – the highly paid free agent, the fof ( whose dp did actually move Werth to 3rd), the guy up and down from AAA, the late bloomer, the veteran bench player, and 2 rookies. Even the relief pitching, from Matheus to Coffey. What a total team effort. Last year if you had told me the nats walked off I would have just assumed it was zim. Now we have had Morse, Espi, Ramos – nice to see the load spread around. June 22, 2011 10:05 AM Good points. How many times have we seen the team from 2007-2010 just let the game totally implode to a bullpen collapse after a bad starters performance?The fact the bullpen was shutdown allowed that 9th inning to be within a (far) reach instead of an insurmountable reach.Another great team win!

  70. Tim - Jun 22, 2011 at 5:22 PM

    Steve M. Thanks. I am enjoying the ride. If they can keep playing like this then they will finish far above the ~75 wins most people expected and will be close enough make it interesting in the post season races. I think this is the easiest part of the nats schedule and they still have 12 games left with atlanta and 9 with philly. So anything is possible.

  71. Steve M. - Jun 22, 2011 at 5:38 PM

    Tim, Its those 12 games left with Atlanta that could be the potential (improbable) Wild Card push if the Nats can get 4 to 5 games above .500 by the All Star break, they come out of the All Star break to face the Braves.That series should tell us if the Nats are a potential playoff team and tell Rizzo if he needs to be "buying" on July 31st!

  72. PAY TO PLAY - Jun 22, 2011 at 5:47 PM

    From Amanda Comak…— That produced a bit of scrambling in the Nationals dugout. Neither Espinosa nor Ramos, both rookies, had ever faced Pauley so they went right to hitting coach Rick Eckstein for a scouting report. "I just asked what's he got, what's he like to do, and he gave me an idea of what he likes to do with his pitches," Espinosa said. "I just went up there trying to have a good at-bat."He saw precisely one pitch from Pauley, a 90 mph sinker, and he sent it to right field for the third consecutive Nationals single. Hairston came home and the Nationals improbable comeback win was in their sights, striding to the plate in their powerful catcher.Ramos was waiting changeup. Eckstein had mentioned that a changeup was Pauley's second-best pitch and the one he'd likely turn to to get a right-handed hitter out. All he had to do was wait for it.When he connected, there was no doubt the Nationals had just completed the largest ninth inning comeback in team history (since relocating to D.C.).

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 72 53 --
ATLANTA 66 61 7.0
MIAMI 63 63 9.5
NEW YORK 60 68 13.5
PHILADELPHIA 56 71 17.0
Through Wednesday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
THU: Diamondbacks at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
FRI: Giants at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Giants at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Giants at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

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.

Follow us on Twitter