Aug 21, 2012, 6:47 AM EDT
US Presswire photo
Nationals fans celebrate as Danny Espinosa scores in the bottom of the 13th.
In a marathon ballgame that featured plenty of young players in Nationals uniforms experiencing pennant race baseball for the first time in their lives, who would have thought the winning run would wind up scoring because of a brain cramp by the Braves’ three-time All-Star and seven-year veteran?
Maybe there truly is something special about the 2012 Nationals, who kept trying to find ways to lose Monday night’s showdown with Atlanta yet managed to hang around long enough to watch Dan Uggla butcher Chad Tracy’s sharp grounder in the bottom of the 13th, allowing Danny Espinosa to slide across the plate with the run that gave the home team a thrilling 5-4 victory in the most significant game in the club’s brief history.
“We’re very young,” manager Davey Johnson said. “This is great. This is the learning curve. This is experience.”
The opener of a three-game series that could see the Nationals all but bury the Braves in the division race — or allow their lone remaining competitor to close the gap — turned into an epic battle deep into the night.
NL EAST STANDINGS
WED: Nats at Rockies, 3:10 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Reds, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Reds, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Reds, 1:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 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.
Follow us on Twitter
- Depleted lineup can't complete sweep over Rockies in 6-4 loss
- Zimmerman placed on DL with hamstring strain
- Kevin Durant channels Werth, LaRoche in 'beard gang' photo
- Strasburg tries to pitch depleted Nats to sweep
- Nationals have to deal with latest Zimmerman injury
- Adam LaRoche notches three hits, Nats down Rockies
- Zimmermann returns to mound after injury
- Cliff Lee, A.J. Burnett also wouldn't mind being traded to the Nats
- Healthy Nationals lineup has become NL's best
- Around the NL East: Are the Phillies on the verge of a fire sale?