March 6, 2021

Washington Nationals Game 93 Review: Taylor, Espinosa lead comeback over Mets


Michael Taylor and Danny Espinosa delivered clutch hits in the eighth inning to trigger a three-run frame, helping the Washington Nationals to come from two runs down and beat the New York Mets 4-3 at Nationals Park, rescuing the rubber match of the three-game series.

The Nats (51-42) lead in the N.L. East returns to three games over the Mets.

But with good news came some bad, as the injuries keep piling up for the Nats. In his first at bat in the second inning, Yunel Escobar took an awkward swing at an inside pitch, and at first it appeared the pitch hit him. It was ruled a foul, and on the next pitch, he swung and threw the bat and immediately walked off the field and down the tunnel, clutching his left wrist.

The Mets produced three two-out runs in the fourth off Jordan Zimmermann. Ruben Tejada led off with a single and went to second on Daniel Murphy’s single. Lucas Duda and Wilmer Flores both flied out, but Zimmermann left one up to Kirk Nieuwenhuis on a 2-1 count and he drilled it to deep left center for a two-run double. Kevin Plawecki followed with a single to center to bring home Nieuwenhuis.

That’s all Zimmermann gave up on the day. In seven innings, he allowed seven hits and no walks, striking out six — but he did not factor in the decision.

The Nats got one back in the bottom of the frame. With one out, Ian Desmond singled back through the box and Matt den Dekker walked. After Zimmermann couldn’t get the sacrifice down, Michael Taylor came through with a single to left center that plated Desmond.

Washington put two runners in in both the fifth and sixth innings, but were unable to scratch out a run. In the seventh, Bryce Harper took an awkward swing at an outside fastball fro strike two and clutched his right hand and wrist area. He completed the at bat, grounding out to second, and continued to hold the wrist area on his way off the field.

The Nats finally broke through in the eighth. With one out, Desmond walked and den Dekker singled. Tyler Moore hit the ball hard, but right at left fielder Nieuwenhuis. But reliever Bobby Parnell uncorked a wild pitch, moving the runners up, then Michael Taylor delivered, lacing a single to left that plated both runners to tie the game.

Taylor promptly stole second base, then Espinosa sliced one down the left field line for two bases, and Taylor scampered home from second.

Fluffy-bearded closer Drew Storen pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 29th save.

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

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