Aug 3, 2011, 4:07 AM EST
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
COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY
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
- Escobar having stiff back examined by doctor
- Marlins spending lots of money off the field, as well as on it
- Nationals hit the road to face Braves
- Zimmerman passes first test at first base
- Rendon reflects on first full pro season
- Giants lose Hunter Pence to significant injury
- Scherzer "happy" with first start of spring
- Braves' starter to see Dr. James Andrews about injury
- New addition scratched from Nationals debut
- Scherzer debuts as Nats open exhibition play