The Washington Nationals defeated the Seattle Mariners 6-5 with a walk-off three-run home run by Wilson Ramos.
It would have been easy for the Washington Nationals to roll over tonight. After all the team suffered a devastating loss Sunday that saw them return to their old losing antics, and denied them the chance to reach .500. Once the club fell down 5-0 in the fifth inning tonight, most teams would have rolled over, chalking their previous eight game winning streak up to luck.
Not this group. Not this summer.
Many scoffed when Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said he wanted to put together a group of guys who hated to lose. It didn’t seem practical to focus on intangibles over solid scouting and data analysis, to try and get a certain type of personality, over players with certain physical tools. But even though the Nationals still stand one game below .500 with tonight’s victory, it’s hard to argue with the results thus far.
Plain and simple the Nationals refuse to lose.
Down 5-1 entering the bottom of the ninth inning, the Nationals had next to no chance of winning the game tonight. After Ryan Zimmerman grounded into a double play, and made the score 5-2 with two outs in the ninth, Fangraphs listed the Nationals chances at winning at 0.5%.
Jerry Hariston Jr., Danny Espinosa, or Mike Morse refused to make the final out of the game though. They each battled to get a single, to keep the game alive, not just for their stats but for their teammates with whom they have scraped and clawed this season to keep their record within reach of .500.
Wilson Ramos capped it off, smashing a three run walk-off bomb to left-centerfield. The Nationals earned the 6-5 victory, scoring four runs with just one out remaining.
You could see the joy on the faces of the players as Wilson Ramos rounded third and approached home plate. It was the look of a group of guys who were not only excited to be playing baseball, but were excited to be playing together. That is not something we have seen around here in a long, long time.