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Game 71: Nats at Phillies

Jun 19, 2013, 7:40 PM EDT

Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

PHILADELPHIA — I hate using the term "must-win" in baseball, especially on June 19. But let's be honest: This is about as close to a "must-win" game as the Nationals have faced all season. They've lost three in a row. They risk getting swept (and passed in the standings) by the Phillies. And they're clearly at a potentially fragile juncture of the season, knowing they not only can't afford to fall any deeper into a hole but that they need to start climbing upward ASAP.

So, it's up to this lineup to finally get something going against Kyle Kendrick, against whom they've had success in the past (he's 4-6 with a 4.90 ERA in 20 career games against the Nationals). Tonight's key, in my mind: The two guys at the top of the lineup. Denard Span is in a major funk right now, hitting .164 with a .220 OBP this month. Anthony Rendon, on the other hand, has been fantastic since his return from the minors, hitting .395 with a .435 OBP. If those two guys can get on base, the opportunities will be there for Ryan Zimmerman, Adam LaRoche, Jayson Werth and Ian Desmond.

Gio Gonzalez gets the start for the Nationals, facing the exact same Phillies lineup that scratched out four runs against Ross Detwiler last night.

Updates to come, so please check back…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
Where: Citizens Bank Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500), XM 187
Weather: Clear, 78 degrees, Wind 3 mph LF to RF

NATIONALS (34-36)
CF Denard Span
2B Anthony Rendon
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche

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554 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:27 AM

    We win!

  2. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:27 AM

    OMG… Desi just hit a grand slam… I'm speechless…

  3. David Proctor - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:27 AM

    IAN DESMOND!!!

  4. Eric - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:27 AM

    WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT!!!!!!!!!?????????

  5. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:27 AM

    OMG, I don't believe what I just saw!!!!

  6. NatsLady - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:28 AM

    I guess I didn't miss anything. Desi got it all!!!!!!

  7. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:28 AM

    OH MY FLIPPIN GOODNESS….. SWEET MARY AND JOSEPH….IAN DESMOND JUST HIT A GRAND SLAM…. OH MY FLIPPING GOODNESS…..

  8. Drew - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:28 AM

    He conquers Stoops.

  9. Secret wasian man - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:29 AM

    Ahhhhhhhh hahhhhhhhhh sit down Philly fan sit down. Now that was fun. Nice dbl Zimm. Ughhhhhh that felt good. Better than sex.

  10. paul brandt - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:29 AM

    hello mcfly!!!!!! yes, love it!!!

  11. Kirbs - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:29 AM

    We need to let this roll into the home stand and harper return!!!

  12. NatsLady - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:29 AM

    LOL, Lombo. NOW he gets a base hit.

  13. do1teach1 - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:29 AM

    The worm has turned!

  14. NatsFanSinceStart - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:30 AM

    a stolen base?? what is going on here?

  15. Scott Margenau - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:30 AM

    Way to go Nats! Breakout time.

  16. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:31 AM

    Lol…. Hahahaha… Who made the decision to send Lombo… Lol…Sweet baby Jesus!

  17. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:31 AM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… Ghost Of Steve M. said… For the love of the Baseball Gods please find a way for the Nats to win this game and of course for the Braves to lose. June 19, 2013 8:58 PMThank you Baseball Gods for the 2 runs and hoping you help the Nats to victory in extra innings! June 19, 2013 9:51 PMOh thank you thank you thank you thank you Baseball Gods for that Grand Slam and please just get a quick 1-2-3 for Soriano.Thank you, NatsInsider.com

  18. Secret wasian man - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:31 AM

    Gotta close it out first folks. Nothing's over in this little league park.

  19. Kirbs - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:31 AM

    I need a "eat some face" shirt!

  20. David Proctor - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:32 AM

    I've been very wary of saying "this game is going to turnaround the season" after every big win, but this game feels like a turning point to me. Maybe I'm just being optimistic, but to look so lifeless and then battle back with your leader (Werth) and hit a Grand Slam (easily the biggest hit of the year).Of course, the Nats could lose the next 3 and all that momentum is gone. But it feels big.

  21. NatsLady - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:32 AM

    Desi needs to go to the ALL-STAR game.

  22. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:32 AM

    Remember Ian's HR vs. putz last year really jump started the late May part of season maybe this will do it

  23. Smatt1001 - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:32 AM

    Nice Desi!! After the last couple of days I'm going to have to re-watch that a couple of times.

  24. NatsFanSinceStart - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:33 AM

    Hurry back, Ramos

  25. Section 222 - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:33 AM

    Way to go Ian! And we have another sighting of Sweet Fancy Moses! Ok, so what's our identity now? Heck if I know. But it sure is fun to win one.(Knock on wood.)

  26. BigCat - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:34 AM

    We are gonna go on a roll like no one has ever seen.!But Eck still has to go

  27. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:34 AM

    I can't remember the last time the Nats have exploited a bullpen like tonight.

  28. Secret wasian man - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:35 AM

    Please everyone take a deep breath and pray for a quick inning. It's not over. Everyone remember game 5? Lets not go there

  29. NatsFanSinceStart - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:35 AM

    maybe so DP and lets not forget Zims drive when it appeared that one more weak slider and he was done — maybe this will do it.

  30. do1teach1 - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:35 AM

    Mark–is wild cursing permissable now if it is done in the form of excessive praise for our players and coaches?

  31. MicheleS - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:35 AM

    I love when Mark does the SWEET FANCY MOSES. Oh how I have missed it.

  32. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:36 AM

    So which one of you marketing folks is gonna make the Eat Some Face shirts…. I will buy 10…

  33. NatsFanSinceStart - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:37 AM

    One out, none on — 4 run leadOur chances of winning must be 90%

  34. Scott Margenau - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:37 AM

    Malox cocktails on me!!

  35. David Proctor - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:37 AM

    I hate when MASN shows hits from that behind the plate view. It makes it look like every ball is going out of the park.I'm not going to miss playing Michael Young.

  36. JaneB - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:38 AM

    How much do I love Ian Desmond? (Rhetorical question)And man do I love when our guys earn a "sweet facy Moses."GYFNG-ESF!

  37. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:39 AM

    Soriano never makes it easy, but gets the job done

  38. NatsLady - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:39 AM

    94.6%

  39. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:40 AM

    Me too Michele…. I crack up laughing….I wish this could have been a W for Gio though,… He was good tonight….

  40. NatsFanSinceStart - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:40 AM

    Good job Nats — later all. I looked into the future Howard fans

  41. NatsLady - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:40 AM

    Sorry, can't read. 96.4%

  42. MicheleS - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:42 AM

    WOOOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! I missed that!!!

  43. Scott Margenau - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:42 AM

    Kirbs said…I need a "eat some face" shirt!With a big bearded Werth head…I love it! Nats Insider on sleeve.

  44. NatsLady - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:43 AM

    And…… 100%Looking back. Did I read the game was over in the first inning?

  45. paul brandt - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:43 AM

    nice win fellow NI's…yes!

  46. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:43 AM

    Alright, alright, alright!!!!Hoping this is it… 17-10 for the month can be done….SO FRICKIN GLAD WE WON THIS DAMN GAME!!!!!!

  47. Section 222 - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:44 AM

    Two SFMs in three days. That's more like it! That was a sweet fancy win!

  48. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:44 AM

    That reporterette is not bad looking.

  49. Timothy Folk - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:45 AM

    Curly W

  50. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:46 AM

    Whelp – looks like the Philth didnt sweep us…And on another note, who is making the shirts??? I want 1 in every Nats color!!!

  51. Scott Margenau - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:46 AM

    Julie with a face eat reference….lol

  52. MrsB loves the Nats - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:48 AM

    And we all go to bed with smiles on our faces…I have tickets to Friday's game… Does Haren pitch that game?

  53. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jun 20, 2013 at 3:00 AM

    Time for a Natty Boh. I have no idea why the Nats don't reclaim Natty Boh, which used to be their official beer I believe in the 60's and 70's. I had one at the O's-Nats game last year.

  54. Eric - Jun 20, 2013 at 3:39 AM

    Uh. Maze. ING!"I've been very wary of saying "this game is going to turnaround the season" after every big win, but this game feels like a turning point to me."I don't know about a turning point, but from the time Werth knocked in the tying run until Desi was 2 – 2 I was grinning like a fool. Something about tying it up in the top of the 9th in Philly just turned this into a fun little heart attack of a game. I was really enjoying myself. I can't believe I didn't wake the kids when Desi hit it out. Holy m**** f****** sh**b***s!!!This is Werth walkoff level folks. In Philly, where by the end of the night they weren't just booing Werth, they were booing Zim, LaRoche, Werth, AND Desi.Just an absolutely perfect game, unless you're name is Gio Gonzalez. Still feel bad for him and all the no decisions.

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