Jun 5, 2013, 4:38 AM EDT
Adam LaRoche leaps into the air after scoring the winning run.
The day began with string of transactions, every one of them significant and in some cases surprising, not necessarily designed to come in unison but certainly having the collective effect of shaking up a roster that for two months had underachieved and left the Nationals with a losing record during the first week of June.
Except, for eight innings Tuesday night, nothing about these new-look Nationals looked, well, new. They got another great pitching performance from Jordan Zimmermann but still found themselves trailing thanks to some sloppy defense and a complete lack of offense.
Inside the dugout at Nationals Park, though, heads were not drooped. Players remained upbeat. And the key veteran just activated off the disabled list led the rallying cry.
“I’ve got all the confidence in the world in this team,” Jayson Werth said. “It’s just something you go through with a young team and guys finding their way in the league. We’ve got so much talent, sometimes it’s easy to get in your own way. Not surprising. But at the same time, it’s time to get it going.”
So they did. At long last, the Nationals mounted a late rally, storming back to score the tying and winning runs in the bottom of the ninth, beat the Mets 3-2 and enjoy something not enjoyed in these parts since Werth’s at-bat for the ages last October: a walk-off celebration.
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