Jul 7, 2011, 4:34 AM EDT
Associated Press photo
Wilson Ramos’ well-executed squeeze bunt scored the winning run for the Nats.
Davey Johnson had managed 2,047 previous big-league games over the course of the last 27 years, and he couldn’t recall ever giving the sign for a suicide squeeze. Not once.
But with his Washington Nationals struggling like never before to drive runners in, and with Michael Morse standing on third base and Wilson Ramos at the plate in the seventh inning of a tie game Wednesday night, Johnson decided he might as well give it a shot. The way his things had been going — the Nationals were 1-for-16 with runners in scoring position, for crying out loud — what did he have to lose?
“You haven’t been here the last eight days that I’ve been here?” the 68-year-old manager said with a smirk. “You’ve got to open up the Cracker Jack box.”
And what did Johnson find inside that box? The magic prize that allowed the Nationals to pull off yet another one-run victory, this time by a 5-4 count over the Cubs.
Even if his first attempt nearly resulted in disaster.
Though Morse got the sign from third-base coach Bo Porter, Ramos initially didn’t see it. So as his teammate came barreling down the baseline, completely unprotected, Ramos swung away and fouled
NL EAST STANDINGS
THE BASEBALL SHOW
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 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: 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
- Nationals sweep Giants behind Zimmermann, Ramos
- Two Giants ejected after arguing call vs. Nationals
- Live Thread: Nationals face Giants in Sunday night matchup
- Harper voted All-Star starter in record-breaking fashion
- Many unknowns in Strasburg's latest injury
- Strasburg placed on the 15-day DL with oblique strain
- For Nats, second half begins with high expectations
- Strasburg exits early in Nationals' 9-3 win
- Strasburg leaves game early due to apparent injury
- Harper on using patriotic bat on the Fourth: "Why not?"