December 7, 2019

Washington Nationals Game 134 Review: Taylor delivers win in 10th

Michael Taylor has had an impressive rookie campaign for the Washington Nationals. But his biggest hit of the season might have come Friday night, as his three-run home run in the 10th inning lifted the Nats to a 5-2 comeback win over the Atlanta Braves.

Harper led the 10th off with a single off reliever Matt Marksberry. The Braves switched to Brandon Cuniff, but the pitching change didn’t work. Ryan Zimmerman greeted him with a single to center, and Taylor smacked a 1-0 slider to center for his 14th home run of the season.

Taylor’s blast brought the Nats back from the brink of what would have been a crushing defeat.

Bryce Harper crushed his 32nd homer of the season in the first inning, delivering a 95-mph fastball into the second row of the second deck in right center, estimated at 454 feet.

The Braves tied it in the third. Nick Markakis walked, went to third on Freddie Freeman’s single and scored on a swinging bunt by A.J. Pierzynski.

That was the only run off emergency starter Tanner Roark, who gave up five hits and three walks over 4 1/3 innings. Matt Thornton and Felipe Rivero delivered the tied game to the eighth inning, where things unraveled for the Nats.

Drew Storen entered and the embattled reliever struggled yet again. Freeman led off with a double to right center. After Pierzynski grounded out Nick Swisher coaxed a ground ball through the right side, eluding Anthony Rendon, and Freeman chugged home, just beating Jayson Werth’s throw. Jose Lobaton dropped the ball trying for the tag, but it was immaterial.

In the ninth, Yunel Escobar led off with a double and pinch-runner Trea Turner went to third on Ian Desmond’s two-strike sacrifice bunt. Wilson Ramos struck out, but pinch-hitter Matt den Dekker lined  a single to center, plating Turner to tie it up. As a pinch-hitter this year, den Dekker is 5 for 11 with a homer and 3 RBI.

Jayson Werth followed with a single and after a pitching change, Rendon grounded out to end the inning. But hte ninth inning rally set the stage for the fireworks in the 10th.

 

About Dave Nichols

Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Washington Nationals, Capitals, Wizards and Mystics. Dave also covers national college football and basketball and Major League Soccer for Associated Press and is a copy editor for the Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, WA. He spent four years in radio covering the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Redskins and the University of Maryland football and basketball teams. Dave is a life-long D.C. sports fan and attended his first pro game in 1974 — the Caps’ second game in existence. You can follow him on Twitter @DaveNicholsDSP

%d bloggers like this: