For 12 innings and over four hours Thursday evening, the San Diego Padres (11-12) and the Washington Nationals (12-11) toiled in mediocrity until the marathon game finally ended.
Former Nat Xavier Nady singled off of Craig Stammen to score Jedd Gyorko in the top of the 12th inning, and Bryce Harper was doubled up at second base in the bottom of the inning to end the game. The Nationals had plenty of chances to win this one as the team left 14 runners in scoring position.
Jordan Zimmermann was up and down in a no decision start. The big righty looked strong for the first three innings, but faltered with a 1-0 lead in the fourth. In the top of the fourth, Chris Denorfia singled to left. Seth Smith then smashed a double to right scoring Denorfia and tying the game at 1-1.
In the sixth, Zimmermann ran into trouble again. Eric Stults led off the inning with a double to left field. Then after a pop up, ground out, and walk, Yasmani Grandal doubled home Stults to make the game 3-1. Zimmerman was able to strike out Alexi Amarista to end the inning and his day.
The Nats were once again forced to come from behind in a game. They have made a horrible habit of playing from behind this entire year. Down 3-1 in the bottom of the sixth Danny Espinosa hit a rocket that just cleared the left-field foul poll to cut the lead to one. In the seventh, Adam LaRoche crushed a ball into the right field bullpen to tie the game. Though they managed to come back in this one, the Nats need to learn to play with a lead if they want to make the playoffs this year.
The Nats play game two of their four-game series against the Padres tomorrow evening at Nats park. Hopefully, they won’t need to use their bullpen much as the unit is depleted after this one.
– The Nats finally won a challenge (albeit a controversial one) in the top of the ninth. Yonder Alonso stole second base and Jose Lobaton’s throw appeared to be late. Upon further review, however, Alonso’s leg went over the base and Espinosa’s tag was in time to get him out.
– Denard Span finally had a solid game. He went 3-for-6 with a run. After coming off the concussion DL on April 19, Span was hitting .190/.280/.190 with three strikeouts going into Thursday. Span needed this game badly, and hopefully will get hot for a little while from here.