Today, we continue our countdown of the top ten games of the 2015 Washington Nationals season. For number nine, we take you back to July 22 when the Nats were playing their second series after the All-Star Break against the eventual NL East champion New York Mets at Nats Park. After splitting the first two games in that series, Jordan Zimmermann took the mound against Noah Syndergaard. While it was a good pitching matchup, this game would be remembered for a Nats comeback as they scored three in the eighth inning to beat New York, 4-3.
The game would start off scoreless for the first three innings, but New York would score three runs against Zimmermann in the top of the fourth. Ruben Tejada and Daniel Murphy led off the inning with back-to-back singles. Two batters later, Kirk Nieuwenhuis drove them both in with a double to left to give New York a 2-0 lead. Then, Kevin Plawecki extended the lead to 3-0 with a base hit to center.
Those would be the only three runs that Zimmermann would allow the entire game. The right-hander went seven innings, gave up three runs on seven hits, struck out six batters, and walked none on 102 pitches (71 strikes) in the no-decision.
The Nats would get one of those runs back in the bottom of the inning. The Nats would put two runners on with two outs against Syndergaard. That’s when Taylor delivered his first clutch hit of the afternoon as he singled to left to drive in Ian Desmond and cut the Mets lead to 3-1.
Despite having chances to score against Syndergaard, the Nats would only put up that one run. The Mets’ right-hander went five innings that day, gave up one run on five hits, struck out four, and walked five on 98 pitches (53 strikes).
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The Nationals would fight their way back in the bottom of the eighth against reliever Bobby Parnell. Desmond drew a one-out walk and former Met Matt den Dekker singled to center. Two batters later, after a wild pitch put both runners in scoring position, Taylor hit a 3-2 fastball into left field that drove in both runs to tie the game. Danny Espinosa would follow that up with a double to left that drove in Taylor to put Washington ahead 4-3.
Then, in the top of the ninth, Drew Storen would come in after Matt Thornton (who got the win) pitched a scoreless top of the eighth inning. Storen would end up striking out the side to get his 29th save of the season.
While the comeback does stand out about this game, this was also the last save Storen had this season as the Nats eventually traded for Jonathan Papelbon and he took over the closer spot. Could that game have possibly been Storen’s last save for the Nats? We will soon find out.