Jun 18, 2013, 4:28 AM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — As the ball soared toward the right-field bleachers and the previously raucous crowd of 44,990 fell dead-silent, the visitors dugout at Citizens Bank Park sprung to life. In a season with precious few moments of true elation, Chad Tracy’s down-to-the-last-strike home run in the top of the ninth Monday night was about as good as it’s been for the Nationals.
One pitch away from a ho-hum loss to the Phillies, the Nationals now had new life, Tracy having delivered a game-tying homer on an 0-2 pitch for the second time in 72 hours. The prevailing sentiment in the dugout: This game was theirs now.
“You gotta play the game, but when you tie it up, I think all of us had a feeling,” Tracy said. “We expected to win, sure.”
A feeling that had vanquished into thin air only 10 minutes later when Fernando Abad surrendered his third single of the bottom of the ninth, this one a soft liner up the middle by Domonic Brown, bringing Ben Revere home with the run that dealt the Nationals a 5-4, punch-to-the-gut loss.
“You tie it up late, and everybody’s emotions are running high and everybody’s feeling good,” Tracy said. “And then they come out and put some good at-bats together at the end and steal it right back from you.”
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
- 'Now the fun begins' - Nats enter postseason on a roll
- 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