Sep 4, 2013, 12:51 AM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — They won’t be adding the footage of Tuesday night’s 9-6 Nationals victory over the Phillies to one of those instructional baseball videos that are advertised late at night. Any evidence of this game — which featured a combined 347 pitches, 13 walks, five wild pitches, a hit batter, a balk, four errors, a run scoring on a strikeout and Bryce Harper losing track of how many outs had been recorded — needs to be burned immediately and forgotten about as quickly as possible.
Given their situation, though, the Nationals can’t be picky and can’t worry about style points. They’ve backed themselves into a corner where wins are mandatory, no matter the manner in which they are secured.
“A win doesn’t have to be pretty,” Gio Gonzalez said. “It just has to be a win.”
The Nationals absolutely had to emerge victorious on this night after watching the Reds eke out a 1-0 win over the Cardinals. They remain 7 1/2 games back in the NL Wild Card race, the schedule now showing only 24 games left to play.
They didn’t play a brand of baseball that typically would be associated with a playoff participant, slogging their way through a 3-hour, 38-minute marathon before the smallest crowd to see a game in Philadelphia since April 2008.
“That was an ugly game,” manager Davey Johnson said. “One of the uglier ones I’ve seen. … That’s not the way you win pennants, I’ll tell you that.”
NL EAST STANDINGS
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 3:10 p.m.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Braves at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Braves at Nats, 7:05 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.
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