Washington Nationals Top 10 Games Of 2015: #1 – Dan Uggla Caps Epic Comeback In Atlanta
By Ricky Keeler
Our top game of 2015 features one of the best, if not the best comeback in the history of the franchise.
We have reached the number one game on our top ten games of 2015 countdown. For this game, we went back to April 28 when the Washington Nationals took on the Braves at Turner Field. Coming into this game, the Nats were 7-13 and searching for answers. On that night, they were able to erase an eight run deficit and win the game 13-12 thanks to the help of a former Atlanta Brave.
Coming into the night, the storyline of the game was the Major League debut of A.J. Cole. But, it was a rough night for the 23-year-old. He gave up four runs on nine hits over two innings of work. Tanner Roark would come in relief, but the Braves would build a 9-1 lead after the second inning thanks to two runs in the first inning and seven in the second.
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Heading into the top of the fifth, the Nats were down 10-2 against Braves’ starter Julio Teheran, but that’s when the comeback began. With runners on the corners to start the inning, Jayson Werth had his second RBI sacrifice fly of the game (first one came in the third) to score Denard Span. Three batters later, the Nats cut a 10-3 deficit to 10-6 when Jose Lobaton hit a three-run home run to center for his first of the season.
In the top of the sixth, Denard Span hit a two-out solo home run against Teheran, his first of the season to make the score 10-7. That would be the last batter Teheran would face in the game. While A.J. Pierzynski’s RBI double off Roark extended Atlanta’s lead to four runs, give Matt Thornton credit for keeping the deficit at four runs by striking out Chris Johnson with the bases loaded and two outs.
One inning later with two outs and two runners in scoring position, Dan Uggla delivered his firs clutch hit of the night a triple to center to cut the deficit in half. Then, Reed Johnson drove in Uggla with a ground-rule double to right to put Washington down 11-10. The Braves would add on a run in the bottom of the inning on a RBI single by Pierzynski against Blake Treinen.
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The Nats would go up against closer Jason Grilli in the top of the ninth. After a Lobaton single and a Danny Espinosa walk with one out, Uggla had the biggest hit of the night when he crushed a 0-2 fastball to right for a three-run home run, his first of the season. With the Nats up 13-12, Drew Storen threw a scoreless bottom of the ninth to earn the save and cap the comeback.
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While Uggla was the star of the night (3-for-5, home run, 5 RBI’s), Span had a good night of his own as he went 5-for-6 with a home run and four runs scored. Even though the Nats didn’t make the postseason in 2015, that night in Atlanta will be a game Nationals’ fans will remember for a long time.