May 19, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman (11) hits a two run home run to beat the New York Yankees 8-6 in the tenth inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
The first game of the two game series last night between the Washington Nationals and the New York Yankees brought about some great drama at Nats Park. The Nats were down 6-2 going into the bottom of the fifth inning against a pitcher in Nathan Eovaldi that had been cruising since giving up solo home runs to Ian Desmond and Bryce Harper in the bottom of the first. However, the Nats continued to show their grit as they stringed together hits in that fifth inning to get back in the game and ultimately win it in the tenth on a walk-off by first baseman Ryan Zimmerman.
With the win last night, the Nationals have won four straight games and have won 16 of their last 20, dating back to April 28. Plus, they are now tied with the New York Mets for first place in the NL East after being eight games behind the Mets on April 27. Before I get into my main takeaways on this game, I want to throw out a couple honorable mentions.
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First, Wilson Ramos showed some power in the bottom of the sixth inning against former Brave David Carpenter. Ramos, who was 0-for-7 against Carpenter coming into that at-bat, took a 3-0 pitch over the bullpen in left field for a game-tying home run in the bottom of the sixth inning to extend his hit streak to 19 games. He is now hitting .367 in the month of May.
Second, Wilmer Difo made his major league debut and the 23-year old did not disappoint. He singled to lead off the seventh inning on the second pitch he saw. It was a good situation for Williams to use him in because if he got on base, the Nats can use his speed with Denard Span at the plate. Difo would attempt to steal, but Span grounded out to Mark Teixeira on that pitch. Nevertheless, it was a great debut for Difo.
Finally, even though Harper did hit his 15th home run of the season and drew a walk, Joe Girardi went to three different lefties, including Harper’s college teammate, Chasen Shreve, late in the game and all three were successful. Harper grounded into a double play in the fifth against Justin Wilson and struck out against Shreve and Andrew Miller. The at-bat against Shreve in the seventh was most notable because the former Brave did not throw him one fastball in that pitch sequence.
Now, here are my main takeways from last night’s ten inning win:
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