Aug 3, 2011, 4:07 AM EDT
US Presswire photo
Jonny Gomes’ takeout slide of David Ross set up Rick Ankiel’s grand slam.
The ball screamed off Rick Ankiel’s bat and soared toward center field, bringing four runners across the plate and the crowd at Nationals Park to its feet. That fourth-inning grand slam put the Nationals on top of the Braves and set them on a course toward a thoroughly enjoyable, 9-3 victory.
But the play that made Ankiel’s slam possible — and the play everyone was raving about inside the Nationals’ clubhouse afterward — came moments earlier, when Jonny Gomes upended catcher David Ross with a takeout slide, breaking up a potential double play and keeping the inning alive so Ankiel could step to the plate.
There’s your turning point of the night.
“Absolutely,” shortstop Ian Desmond said. “Absolutely. Get the next guy to the plate and anything’s possible. If he doesn’t take him out right there like that, that might be a double play. Changes the momentum totally.”
There were no shortage of positive developments for the Nationals during their fourth straight victory, their most-lopsided win since Davey Johnson took over as manager. Ankiel clubbed the grand slam, his third homer in two days. Michael Morse crushed a ball into
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
NL POSTSEASON SCHEDULE
WED: Giants at Pirates, 8:07 p.m. (ESPN)
FRI: Game 1, Pirates at Nats, 12:07 p.m.,
OR Giants at Nats, 3:07 p.m. (FS1)
SAT: Game 2, PIT/SF at Nats, 5:37 p.m. (FS1)
MON: Game 3, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (MLBN)
OCT. 7: Game 4, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (FS1)*
OCT. 9: Game 5, PIT/SF at Nats, TBA (FS1)*
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
- Game thread: Who will advance in AL Wild Card game?
- Bryce Harper to play showcase in Japan after MLB playoffs
- MLB postseason begins tonight: Wild Card playoff preview
- 5 questions facing the Nationals in the postseason
- Nats finding ways to stay sharp (VIDEO)
- Games 1 and 2 at Nationals Park will be matinees
- Revisiting Opening Day predictions on the Nats
- Zimmermann named NL Player of the Week for 2nd time this year
- Nats' plan to stay fresh before Game 1 of the NLDS
- Denard Span sets Nats hits record to add to special day