It was just another game between the Washington Nationals and the Houston Astros on Tuesday. Game one on Monday night ended in ridiculous fashion, and game two didn’t want to be left behind. With two outs in the twelfth inning and Tyler Clippard on the mound going for his 23rd save, Roger Bernadina really did look like a shark.
Brett Wallace hit a ball to deep left center field, which is really deep at Minute Maid Park because that wall just goes straight out toward center. Bernadina covered a lot of ground, leapt, and made the game-saving catch. You have to see it to appreciate it.
The moment caused Nats fans and baseball fans across the country to take notice, as Bernadina quickly started trending worldwide on Twitter and earned number one on SportsCenter’s Top Plays. The Nats again found a way to squeak out a win against the Astros to move 24 games above the .500 mark and four games ahead of the Atlanta Braves after they lost to the Philadelphia Phillies earlier in the day.
Not to be forgotten, Ross Detwiler had another remarkable outing on Tuesday. He made it through seven innings for the fourth time in his last five starts. He gave up just two runs on three hits, and threw just 85 pitches. He could have stayed in the game, but Davey Johnson elected to pinch hit for him as the Nats struggled to get to Astros starter Jordan Lyles. Detwiler now has a 2.99 ERA as part of baseball’s best pitching staff.
For the Nats offense, despite struggling against a pitcher in Lyles with an ERA closer to 6.00 than 5.00, they managed just enough to get a win. Danny Espinosa destroyed a baseball in the second deck in the second inning for a two-run shot. Then, Michael Morse hit a baseball about 430 feet to center field for a double, which would have been a home run in every other ball park in the country. Cesar Izturis pinch ran for Morse, and Danny Espinosa drove him home for the eventual game winning run.
The game was a frustrating one at times, as it was easy to expect that the Nats would beat up on a starting pitcher with one of the highest ERAs in the National League, but even the struggling Astros have a good game from time to time. They have played up to the occasion against the Nats half way through this series, and Gio Gonalez and Jordan Zimmermann hope to continue performing well to keep the team’s now four-game winning streak rolling.
What is up with the Nats? Why was this and the first game even close? Houston is a terrible team with the worst record in both leagues. The Nats are thinking of winning the penant. They need to crush bad teams, and the Astros are a bad team.